Whistleblowers are typically known to be individuals who are employees that expose information or activity within an organization that may be illegal, fraudulent, or abusive.
Does Florida have any Whistleblower laws?
Florida Statutes 448.102 provides the Florida Private Whistleblower Act which protects employees from any retaliatory acts from an employer due to the employees disclosure of the employer’s illegal activities.
For a whistleblower to successfully bring a claim of retaliation against an employer, an employee must prove the following elements:
- The employee engaged in certain types of statutorily protected activities concerning wrongdoing by the employer;
- The disclosing employee suffered an adverse employment outcome; and
- The employee’s disclosure caused the adverse employment outcome that the employee suffered.
As per the statute, some of the statutorily protected activities for employees include:
- Disclosing any employer conduct that is a violation of a legal rule or statute, as long as the employee provides the employer with a reasonable written notice;
- Threatening to disclose any employer conduct that is a violation of a legal rule;
- Testifying before any government agency regarding the employer’s activities.
What are “adverse employment outcomes”?
The adverse employment outcomes that must be caused by the disclosure of the employee include:
- Firing the employee;
- Demoting the employee; or
- Harassment of the employee.