Florida Whistleblowers Act

Function

  • The Whistle-blower's Act protects employees who risk their careers to protect the public. The act makes it illegal to retaliate against an employee for disclosing information on laws being broken, mismanagement of funds, any abuse or neglect of duty by a public agency, official, private employer or worker.

Features

  • The Whistle-blower's Act makes it illegal to suspend, fire, demote or transfer an employee who has disclosed information protected by the whistle-blower legislation. An employer may not withhold that employee's bonus pay, cut his salary or health coverage because he disclosed. The act prohibits any action that negatively impacts the employee's terms of employment.

Who's Protected

  • The Whistle-blower's Act protects employees and independent contractors who work for public agencies or organizations. Private employees are covered if the employer has 10 or more employees. Private employers must be given notice in writing so that they can correct the violation on their own. The law covers employees who come forward on their own or take part in a whistle-blower investigation. The act also protects anyone who refuses to retaliate against an employee who disclosed.

Not Protected

  • The act does not protect employees who knowingly disclose false information. Neither does it cover those who are in the custody of a correctional institution. The law doesn't protect those formerly incarcerated in a correctional institution from reporting illegal acts they witnessed while they were in the custody of that institution.

Types of Disclosure

  • The act protects whistle-blowers when they report any violation or suspected violation of the law by any employer, employee, official or agency. This includes violations of state and local law, as well as federal laws, rules and regulations. The law protects employees and independent contractors who report suspected neglect, waste, fraud or abuse.

Time Frame

  • Florida has a statute of limitations on claims made by whistle-blowers. An employee or independent contractor has two years from the date of discovering that retaliatory action was taken against her to file a lawsuit, or she must file a lawsuit within four years after the negative personnel action was taken, whichever event happened first.

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