Did you blow the whistle on illegal or other prohibited activities at work? If so, you’re covered by a number of state and federal laws that offer whistleblower protection. But even with these whistleblower laws, retaliation and harassment still occur.
But our experienced team of Orlando employment law attorneys can assist, as we work to help you file a claim with the appropriate agency and if necessary, file a lawsuit to help you find justice and recover the compensation you deserve for your losses and damages.
The Orlando whistleblower lawyers of the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. are ready to discuss your case in a no-cost evaluation session. Call 407-422-2188.
The Most Common Questions About Whistleblower Protection
The Orlando labor attorneys of the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. receive a fair number of questions from individuals who’ve been suffered informer retaliation, harassment, and other unfair treatment. The following is an overview of some of the most common questions that our legal team addresses on this subject.
What is the Definition of Whistleblower Retaliation?
A whistleblower may bring to light a case of harassment, discrimination or illegal or unethical activity, resulting in some serious consequences for the wrong-doers. In some cases, those individuals may want to get revenge.
Whistleblower retaliation can take many different forms, including:
- refusing to promote the whistleblower;
- suspending or firing the whistleblower;
- verbally harassing or humiliating the whistleblower;
- making explicit or veiled threats against the whistleblower;
- harassing the whistleblower in writing or in another non-verbal manner;
- intimidating or coercing the whistleblower or his/her friends or family members.
In addition, informer protection laws protect friends and family members of a tattler.
What Should I Do if I Blow the Whistle on My Employer?
In addition to reporting the matter to the appropriate authorities or agency, an informer should always write a detailed overview of the matter that they’re bringing to light. This document should be forwarded to management and human resources via email and by certified letter.
In many cases, tattler reprisal claims are countered by stating that management did not even know about the complaint. But by emailing and sending a copy of the complaint by certified mail, you can prove that management and HR officials were notified of the complaint before the retribution happened.
What Should I Do if I’m the Victim of Whistleblower Retaliation?
If you are a tattler who was harassed, discriminated against or otherwise retaliated against, then you should immediately contact an attorney regarding the matter.
In addition, be sure to retain any documents or other proof of the retaliation. You may also wish to make note of anyone who witnesses retaliatory actions.
What Government Agencies Are Involved with Whistleblower Protection?
The Florida Commission of Human Relations (FCHR) oversees complaints under Florida’s Whistleblower Act, which covers state employees only. Once the complaint is filed, the informer will be provided with a chance to resolve the matter through mediation.
If mediation is not successful, an investigation will occur. Based on the results of the tattler harassment investigation, a determination will be made. Depending upon the determination, the matter may be resolved in a hearing or civil action (i.e. a whistleblower lawsuit) may be filed.
Some tattler harassment or discrimination claims involving non-state agency employees can be pursued with the FCHR as a discrimination claim. In other cases, a whistleblower lawsuit may be filed. Each case is unique, so it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to handle your case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Whistleblower Retaliation Claim?
A whistleblower has up to 60 days from the date of a prohibited personnel action (i.e. suspending or terminating an employee) to file a complaint with the Florida Commission of Human Relations (FCHR).
If retaliation takes another form (i.e. other than a “prohibited personnel action”), the employee must report the matter to the commission within 60 days; an intake counselor can advise the whistleblower on their options. The victim has a total of 365 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory event to file a formal complaint with the FCHR.
Timeframes may vary depending upon whether you are taking other action, such as filing a lawsuit. But in every case, it’s always best to take action sooner rather than later as this will maximize your chances of a positive outcome.
Our Orlando Employment Lawyers Will Represent Your Whistleblower Lawsuit and Retaliation Claim
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and report a wrong-doing, especially when your job is at stake. For this reason, the law offers strict whistleblower protection. But in many cases, you need a qualified employment lawyer who can assist with your case.
At the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A., our experienced Orlando attorneys take a “clients first” approach to each and every case. It’s frightening to face whistleblower vengeance, especially when you stood up for what was right and just. Our goal is to stand behind you, supporting your decision to serve as a whistleblower. We will work hard to help you get the justice you deserve.
The law does limit the timeframe for filing a claim, so we encourage you to reach out to our attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your situation in a confidential, no-cost case consultation session.
Contact the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. by phone at 407-422-2188.