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No notice when suing gov’t for workers’ comp retaliation

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Floridians who want to sue local governments or the state for personal injuries must give the government advance notice that they are preparing a lawsuit. Usually, this requirement applies in car accidents due to faulty road construction or maintenance.

But what about claims for retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim when the governmental unit is the employer? The Florida Supreme Court recently addressed that question.

Recent case: Charlene Bifulco claimed she was fired from her government job after filing a workers’ compensation claim. She sued, but didn’t give prior notice. Her former employer said she had to—just like anyone else who sues the state for wrongful conduct.

The Florida Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that the workers’ compensation law waived the requirement. (Bifulco v. Patient Business and Financial Services, No. SC09-172, Supreme Court of Florida, 2010)

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