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Protections for whistleblowers

As Florida workers probably know, employees who report actions by an employer that are illegal have protection under the law against adverse consequences of so doing. Protections may include not only being fired from the job because of that action but other consequences such as harassment or other ways of retaliation.

For example, under federal law, protections are in place for workers who are fired in retaliation if they report safety or health violations. Many states offer whistleblower protections in addition, but laws may vary depending on the state. Some states require a whistleblower to file claims of adverse actions in a short period of time and may a period as short as 90 days to file a claim. Before filing, it is important to know exactly which employees are protected under a particular state and against whom they may file.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations in place dealing with the reporting of workplace safety issues. Other federal agencies have similar laws depending upon their jurisdiction, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to accounting or other irregularities committed by publicly-traded companies.

A whistleblower who has been retaliated against for reporting security or safety issues, whether by being fired or by facing other types of retaliation, may benefit from consulting with an attorney who is experienced in employment law. Whistleblower legal help may help to recover damages in the form of lost pay, wrongful termination and other expenses associated with the employee's reporting of unsafe conditions or other improprieties on the part of the employer.

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