In employment law, a whistleblower is an individual who raises a concern about a wrongdoing in their workplace. The wrongdoing may be an activity that is illegal, unethical, plainly not correct within an organization. It does not matter whether the organization is public or private, both are subject to whistleblower regulations.
The term “whistleblower” originated from the 19th Century and was originally tied to the use of the “whistle” to stop games where illegal conduct or foul play arose. Further, the phrase whistle blower attached itself to law enforcement officials in the 19th century because they used a whistle to alert the public or fellow police. In today’s laws, this term is commonly used in the workplace environment and is common knowledge. The whistleblower laws today stem largely from federal and state laws. Specifically, in Florida, FL Statute 112.3187 details the rights and obligations of whistleblowers.
There are six (6) criteria that must be met before private whistleblowers can file a claim under the FL whistleblower statute. That is as follows:
The employee must have:
- Disclosed or threatened to disclose to an agency under oath and in writing;
- An activity, policy, or practice of his or her employer;
- That was in violation of a law, rule, or regulation;
- That the employer retaliated against his or her because of the disclosure or threat to disclose;
- had given written notice to the employer of its activity, policy, or practice;
- Thereby giving the employer reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice.
If the employee meets such criteria, the employer cannot dismiss, discipline, or other adverse personnel action against employee for disclosing information of any violation or suspected violation of law or regulation or act. The laws surrounding whistleblowers are extremely delicate and complex, only an experienced employment law attorney should try to navigate such issues.
If you or someone you know has a potential employment law claim and/or questions regarding your rights, contact the attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group for a complimentary consultation.