There are a number of laws that offer protection for employees who “blow the whistle” on issues they witness or experience in the workplace. The most often used statute in Florida for whistleblower situations is the Florida Whistleblower Act (“FWA”). The FWA is a nuanced law. The interpretation of the law has been evolving for several years. Therefore, both employers and employees should consult with labor counsel to navigate through the FWA.
A. Language of The Florida Whistleblower Act
448.102 Prohibitions.—An employer may not take any 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.
(3) Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the employer which is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation.