Looking the Other Way
Florida is an employment at-will state. However, employers should be mindful of the fact that there are certain exceptions to the blanket Florida at-will employment doctrine. One of these exceptions is the Florida Whistleblower Act. The Florida Whistleblower Act provides employees with a cause of action to sue employers who wrongfully discharge them for reporting or refusing to participate in an employer’s illegal activity. Whistleblower claims open up the door for not only the recovery of lost wages and benefits, but also potential damages for emotional distress as well. A recent Florida ruling displays the interesting aspects of Florida whistleblower claims.
Alerting the boss
John Aery (Aery) worked as the automobile parts manager at Maroone Lincoln Mercury of Lake Park (Maroone). Shortly into his employment with Maroone, Aery allegedly began to notice some suspicious dealings by the dealership’s body shop manager. Aery claimed that the body shop manager was involved in a crafty insurance scam involving fraudulent invoices. Aery alleged that when customers would bring their vehicles in for repair, the body shop manager would place two separate orders, one for new parts from one vendor, and one to a different vendor for used parts. The body shop manager would then repair the customers’ vehicles with used body parts, return the new parts, and bill the customers’ insurance companies the invoice for the new parts.
Aery told the general manager about what he had witnessed and later informed the general manager in a sit-down meeting that such activity is not only against industry standards, but is also against the law! The general manager assured Aery that he would … [continued]
Photo Courtesy of Family Law In NJ