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7 things to know about the Florida Private Whistleblower Law

The Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Law, §§448.101-448.105, Florida Statutes, prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against an employee because the employee objected to or refused to participate in any employer activity, policy, or practice. employer, which constitutes a violation of a law, rule or regulation.

1. Persons covered: An “employer” under the Florida Private Whistleblower Law means any individual, firm, partnership, institution, corporation, or private association that employs 10 or more persons. An “employee” means any person who performs services for an employer for wages or other compensation, but It is not include an independent contractor.

2. Statute of limitations: The statutory limitations for filing a Florida private whistleblower case are two (2) years after discovering that the alleged retaliatory personal action was taken, or within four (4) years after the action was taken staff, whichever comes first.

3. Administrative Exhaustion: You are not required to exhaust your administrative remedies; an employee can file a complaint in court. In other words, you do not need to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or the Florida Human Relations Commission to file a Florida Private Whistleblower Law case. Therefore, there is no need to wait at least 180 days before starting the litigation process, unlike a case filed under Title VII or the Florida Civil Rights Law.

4. Remedy: If you are successful in your Florida Private Whistleblower’s Act case, the court may order: (1) an injunction restraining further violation of the law, (2) reinstatement of the employee to the same position held prior to the action retaliatory staff, or one-fourth of the equivalent position, (3) reinstatement of all fringe benefits and seniority rights, (4) compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other compensation, or (5) any other compensation for damages permitted by the law.

5. Attorney fees: A court may award reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs, and expenses to the winning party in a Florida Private Whistleblower Law case, which means the employee may have to pay the employer’s attorneys’ fees, if they win or win. No.

6. Written Notice: To be protected under the Whistleblower Act to complain to an outside agency, an employee must first disclose, in writing, the illegal act to the employer.

7. Testify as a witness: An employee is protected by the Whistleblower Act for giving testimony or acting as a witness under a subpoena related to an alleged illegal act of the employer.

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