Florida Licensed COVID-19 Data Scientist Receives Whistleblower Status

Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones, who developed the state’s COVID-19 dashboard before being fired from the Department of Health in May 2020, has been granted official whistleblower status under the Florida, according to SCS affiliate WTSP.

Ms Jones filed a formal whistleblower discrimination charge with the Florida Human Resources Commission in July 2020. She alleged that the Florida State Department of Health retaliated against her by terminating her employment after refusing to manipulate the data on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Florida law enforcement officials accused Ms Jones of improperly accessing the state’s health department’s communications platform to send a message last May urging officials to do so. express on state reports on COVID-19-related deaths.

In January, Ms Jones surrendered to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued against her for using the state’s computer system. She was released on bail the next day, and in February she decided to dismiss the lawsuit brought against Florida officials for an armed raid on her home on December 7.

Whistleblower status offers people certain protections under state law, including possible reinstatement of the employee’s former position or compensation for lost wages and benefits, according to the report.

Sean N. Ayres