Whistleblowers play an important role in society. Without them, there would be no one to call out instances of wrongdoing, corruption or fraud. Companies and organizations would get away with injustice. While whistleblowers are invaluable, they often stand up against those in power. When standing against an employer, whistleblowers may naturally fear for their position. Retaliation through firing is not a myth. Whistleblowers may experience threats but this is not lawful behavior. The Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act seeks to do as its name suggests.
Both state and federal law address whistleblower protection. According to Michigan State Legislature, employers may not threaten, discharge or discriminate against an employee because he or she is a whistleblower. Whistleblowing is a protected activity!
What is a protected activity? Protected activities are those in which an employee reports or is about to report a suspected violation of the law or violation of the law. Now, as the employee, you have to believe that the claim is factual. To make false claims does not leave anyone under protection. Now, this does not mean that the claim has to be true. In fact, the claim could be false. However, you, as the whistleblower needed to believe it.
Whether or not the claim is false does not change whether a person can terminate the employment of the whistleblower. Under this act, the whistleblower has protection. In order to be valid, the whistleblower needs to make his or her claim within 90 days of the violation.
The above information is provided to educate on whistleblowing and wrongful termination. It is not intended to be legal advice.