Every person who works for a company should know and trust that they have the right to stand up to injustice, unethical or illegal behaviors or activities when they witness or become aware of them. Regardless of an employee’s position in an organization, the ability to blow the whistle on these things is important and is protected by laws at both the state and the federal levels.
Michigan state law protecting whistleblowers
The Michigan state legislative code indicates that workers have the right to expose improper actions or behaviors and that this right should come without fear of retaliation. The law makes it expressly illegal for any company or organization to take negative actions against an employee who has filed a report or participated in any type of court action, investigation or hearing.
Some areas in which retaliation is banned include manipulations of a person’s working condition or location; alterations to their salary or wages, benefits or bonus; modifications of a person’s responsibilities; and nature of their work. The law extends protections to people reporting violations of any regulation, rule or law set forth at the municipal, state or federal level. Employees have the right to pursue legal recourse for a violation of the law within a set period of time.
Law for federal employees
People who work for federal agencies within the state of Michigan may also be protected under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The latter increased protections related specifically to reports concerns abuse, fraud and waste. These laws also protect people applying for federal jobs in addition to those who are already employees of federal agencies.