Four employees for the Florida Department of Corrections have decided to move forward and file a lawsuit against the agency. They claim they were punished for bringing attention to an inaccurate report related to the death of an inmate.
The retaliation lawsuit, which was filed this week, also names two high ranking employees at the DOC, Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel, and Gov. Rick Scott's Office of the Inspector General as defendants.
In the lawsuit, the four employees claim that they have been victims of retaliation after raising concerns about the investigation surrounding an inmate's death.
The suit goes on to say, "The plaintiffs have alleged that as a result of the exercise of their rights under the First Amendment, they have been subject to ongoing retaliation in the form of false and unwarranted internal affairs complaints which, in all likelihood, will continue unless injunctive relief is granted by this court."
In the lawsuit, the four employees are not asking for any financial compensation from those who are named as defendants. Instead, they are hoping that Miguel's office and the DOC will be barred from future retaliatory acts. They are also seeking that the court provide them whistleblower protection.
Many people shy away from speaking their mind at work because they are fearful of retaliation. As a result, there are times in which a situation that should be brought to light is instead swept under the rug. This lawsuit shows that people do not have to sit back and stay quiet. If there is something to be said, it is important to do so and then let the legal system play out if necessary.
Source: Tallahassee Democrat, "Four DOC employees sue, claiming retaliation" Brandon Larrabee, Jul. 13, 2014