Deciding to file a whistleblower claim against your employer is a hard decision. As with most Florida employees, you might be hesitant about saying something, out of fear that you will lose your job or good reputation.
You may even wonder if what you are witnessing or experiencing are legitimate employment violations. However, once you have determined that they are and that you want to file a claim, you will likely have questions about next steps.
You can file a whistleblower complaint in writing, over the telephone or in person. It might be best to file your complaint with the help of an attorney.
What to include in your complaint
Having professional guidance with completing and filing your whistleblower complaint is a good idea, so you know exactly what information you need to include.
For example, there are four elements that must be included in a whistleblower complaint. You must allege that you engaged in an activity protected by whistleblower laws, that your employer knew about it and that they retaliated against you because of it.
Know the deadlines involved
There are deadlines to filing whistleblower complaints. Those deadlines vary depending on the type of laws involved. The deadline starts on the date of the retaliatory action taken against you.
You cannot file a whistleblower claim anonymously. After your claim is filed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must contact your employer, tell them about the claim and allow them a chance to respond.
OSHA cannot do this without telling them who filed the complaint. However, you should not provide anyone else’s names or contact information.
You can use witness testimony to prove your case during the investigation, so it is best to wait until then.
You are protected under the law
You have rights under federal law to be protected against retaliation. You can assert these rights by properly and promptly filing a whistleblower complaint.