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How does Florida protect whistleblowers?

As a Florida whistleblower -- someone who exposes wrongdoing within a private or public company -- you have certain legal protections. Your colleagues and superiors, for example, may not retaliate against you because of your decision to report unethical or unlawful actions, and there are several specific protections and statutes that protect you as a Florida employee.

Florida is an at-will employment state, meaning that, with a few exceptions, its employers are able to terminate your employment at any time and for almost any reason. He or she cannot terminate you, however, if the firing violates an existing state statute, and firing you because you blew the whistle falls into this category. The state’s statutes specific to whistleblowing are as follows.

Statutory protections for whistleblowers

If you are a public employee in Florida and you alert authorities about wrongdoing in your place of employment, the Florida Whistleblower’s Act protects you in your right to do so. You may not be fired or subjected to discrimination at work for revealing a company’s gross neglect, waste or mismanagement, or for otherwise divulging information about a business’s failure to follow state or federal laws or regulations.

As a private employee in Florida, the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Act protects you. If you suspect wrongdoing and believe your place of business is in violation of an existing law or statute, you must, in writing, alert a supervisor about your concerns. However, your superiors or coworkers may not fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in the workplace for reporting your concerns about violations to the proper authorities.

There are certain deadlines that exist for filing whistleblower and retaliation claims in Florida, and they differ for workers within the public and private sectors. If you were subject to discrimination or an unfair firing because you blew the whistle, consider getting in touch with a lawyer. 

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