When an employee witnesses a wrongdoing at their job it is not uncommon for them to hesitate to report it. They may fear that they will lose their jobs or suffer other negative employment consequences. But whistleblowers have an important role to play in reporting illegal activity and the State of Michigan offers protection for them.
The Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act protects private and public sector employees who report bad behavior. It shields employees from termination for protected activities related to reporting illegal activity by their employer.
The law protects reasonable reports of violations
Protected activities include reporting employers that the employee reasonably feels are in violation of a:
- Or participating in an investigation of potential illegal activity
The WPA makes it illegal for the company to discharge or discriminate against an employee in retaliation for reporting suspected illegal activity. The employee must make the report verbally or in writing to a representative of a public body. If they merely report it to their supervisor or internal department, they are not protected by the law. The employee does not have to prove the illegal activity occurred, they just have to make the report in good faith that the violation occurred or will occur in the future.
Making a claim against an employer can be a scary thing. Most people who want to do the right thing may not fully understand what they must do to protect themselves during this daunting process. A legal professional with experience in whistleblower protection can help their client with any type of claim they may bring. They will offer potential strategies and make sure their client’s livelihood and future is protected.