Whistleblowers Are Important Sources of Information-Florida Law

Private Sector Whistleblowers in Florida, such as licensed professionals, executives, engineers, professors, etc., have protection under the Florida Whistleblower Act. The Florida Whistleblower Act, provides, in pertinent part, that:

An employer may not take retaliatory personnel action against an employee because the employee has
(1) Disclosed, or threatened to disclose, to any appropriate governmental agency, under oath, in writing, an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation. However, this subsection does not apply unless the employee has, in writing, brought the activity, policy, or practice to the attention of a supervisor or the employer and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice.
(2) Provided information to, or testified before, any appropriate governmental agency, person, or entity conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into an alleged violation of a law, rule, or regulation by the employer or
(3) Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the employer which is in violation of the law, rule, or regulation.

§ 448.102(1-3), Fla. Stat. The Florida Supreme Court has held that ambiguities in this statute must be liberally construed in favor of granting access to the remedy provided by the Legislature. Golf Channel v. Jenkins, 752 So.2d 561, 567 (Fla. 2000). In Molenda v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., the court upheld a whistleblower claim in which the plaintiff reported and warned company officials of illegal activities. Molenda v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., 60 F. Supp.2d 1294, 1299 (S.D. Fla. 1999). Plaintiffs in FWA cases are entitled to economic damages, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

We have been representing whistleblowers for almost 30 years.  If you have any questions or seek representation, please contact Neil L. Henrichsen at nhenrichsen@hslawyers.com.