How are whistleblowers protected under Michigan law?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2020 | Firm News |

Suppose you have seen your employer in Michigan violating a law or safety regulation. You feel obligated to report this to the appropriate government agency, but you are worried that if your employer finds out, you will face discrimination or worse.

In Michigan, this kind of reporting is called “whistleblowing,” and should you choose to make a report, you are protected under state law. So how exactly does the government protect whistleblowers in Michigan?

The Whistleblowers’ Protection Act

Under the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, if you reported a violation of law or procedure, your employer may not use this as grounds to discriminate against you regarding your employment privileges, location, condition, terms or compensation. Your employer is also prohibited from threatening or discharging you just because you reported a violation. Do keep in mind that this protection does not apply if you knowingly report false information.

How does the WPA protect you?

You may worry that your employer could just fire you and say it was for a different reason. While this kind of action is extremely unprofessional and dishonest, it does occasionally happen. If this happens to you, the first thing you need to do is make sure that can show the state clear and convincing evidence that you were about to report a violation.

At this point, you can raise the issue with your local county or circuit court. To do this, you must allege that your employee retaliated against your whistleblowing activity and assert that this constitutes a violation of the WPA. You may then bring a civil action against your employer, and if you win in court, you may be awarded damages and/or injunctive relief.