Ratting out co-worker is whistle-blowing

Employees who report wrongdoing by other employees are protected from retaliation by the Florida Whistleblower Act (FWA).

Recent case: Bahamasair employee Deborah Pinder observed another employee checking in a passenger under a false name without placing her on the manifest. Pinder reported the incident—which, if true, would violate federal regulations—to the Federal Aviation Administration. Then, she claimed, the airline punished her.

Pinder sued under the FWA and the court ordered a trial. It said reporting suspected illegal activity was whistle-blowing. (Pinder v. Bahamasair Holdings, No. 08-CV-22548, SD FL, 2009)

Final note: The FWA covers objecting to or refusing to participate in an employer’s illegal activity, policy or practice, or an illegal activity of anyone acting within the legitimate scope of employment for the employer.