When an employer is doing something illegal or unethical, it is not uncommon for employees to want to speak out and expose the employer’s actions either to the media or the authorities. Unfortunately, the first impulse of most employers is to fire the employee who blew the whistle. However, both federal and state laws work to protect whistleblowers from adverse employment consequences.
Unfortunately, usually the first thing an employer will normally do when an employee discloses an employer’s improper activities is fire that employee. Historically, many people tended to value their jobs more than exposing an employer’s wrongdoing. As a result, the threat of termination caused a chilling effect that kept many employees quiet.
Most Florida and federal employment discrimination laws also have retaliation protection provisions that protect employees who blow the whistle on their employer’s’ workplace discrimination. Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA all contain anti-retaliation provisions that protect employees from reporting discrimination of various types including race, sex, gender, age, and disability discrimination. Importantly, the anti-retaliation provisions of most employment discrimination laws protect both employees who file discrimination claims and any witnesses who assist in the filing of a claim.
The most common types of wrongful termination claims are employment discrimination claims. Indeed, both federal law and Florida law prevent discrimination in the workplace. Employees cannot be fired merely due to an employer’s discriminatory hostility towards employees who are members of certain protected classifications. Additionally, employment discrimination laws also protect employees who blow the whistle on their employer’s discriminatory acts.
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.
If you have knowledge of illegal activity occurring within your place of employment, you should come forward and retain representation with The Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott, LLC. the law firm has a track record of advocating for whistleblowers and protecting their right. For immediate assistance, do not hesitate to contact the law firm today.
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All people who work in Florida are protected by Florida and federal laws. Yet, many employees have never been informed of the many laws that protect Florida employees. The Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott serves clients throughout Florida and provides free case consultations in an effort to assist Florida employees who were wrongfully terminated. If the firm takes your case, then you pay no upfront costs or fees unless and until the firm wins your case. If the firm doesn’t win your case, then you pay nothing to the firm.
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