What are the Legal Steps Under Florida Whistleblowers Laws?
If you observe misconduct by your employer that harms the interests of the federal or state government, you might consider bringing the illegal acts to the attention of officials. At the same time, you are right to be concerned about getting fired or being treated unfairly at work as a form of retaliation. Fortunately, the Federal False Claims Act and many other whistleblower laws exist to encourage workers like you to come forward. These statutes provide for a reward when you notify appropriate authorities about unlawful acts by your employer, so you may recover damages while also enjoying protection from retaliation.
However, whistleblower laws are extremely complicated, and mistakes could lead you to miss out on legal opportunities. These cases follow a very specific process, so failure to comply may harm your rights. It is smart to rely on a Palm Beach Gardens whistleblower claims lawyer who has experience and will guide you through the proceedings. You can also review some information on the next steps under Florida whistleblower laws.
Step 1: File Whistleblower Case. If you are proceeding under the False Claims Act or an equivalent whistleblower statute, you will need to file a lawsuit in court and forward the documents to appropriate government officials. In your filings, you must include all details regarding the alleged unlawful acts by your employer. In most cases, you will meet with the relevant government body to present your evidence and discuss details.
Step 2: Await Government’s Decision. Under most whistleblower laws, the agency that was affected by your employer’s misconduct will assess its options. The government has the option to take the lead on the case and act as plaintiff, or it can allow you to pursue your employer. The decision depends upon many different variables, so the officials will conduct a thorough investigation.
Step 3: Documents Under Seal During Investigation: As the probe into illegal acts by your employer proceeds, the documents you provided will not be disclosed to the public. Privacy is critical to ensuring important evidence remains intact. As part of the investigation, authorities may:
- Interview key players and employees;
- Review the factual evidence provided by you;
- Access details that you may not have in your possession; and,
- Evaluate any other relevant facts.
Step 4: Government’s Decision on Joining the Whistleblower Claim. If the agency opts to become part of the lawsuit by intervening, documents related to your lawsuit are unsealed. Your employer will be aware of your identity at this point, and the case proceeds to litigation. You will likely be called to testify, but keep in mind that many of these claims settle by agreement out of court.
Contact a Florida Whistleblower Claims Attorney Right Away
It is helpful for employees to review the next steps under Florida whistleblower laws, but you will need skilled legal support for bringing a claim. To learn how our team can help, please call Sconzo Law Office at 561-279-6114 or visit us online. We can schedule a free consultation with a Palm Beach County whistleblower lawyer who will advise you.