Deciding to file a whistleblower claim is a major decision. Michigan workers who observe wrongdoing in their workplace and wish to report it may have many questions about the claim filing process and the protection of their legal rights. If you’ve reported unlawful activity of your employer and believe you’ve experienced retaliation, the first question you are likely to ask is how do I file a claim?
Whistleblower law in Michigan is governed by the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, which prevents employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. The act provides protections to whistleblowers who report legal violations by their employers regarding things such as pay, minimum sage disability status, health and safety.
Check the statute of limitations
A whistleblower claim must be filed in the appropriate court. The court you will file your claim in depends on the nature of the claim. General whistleblower claims to report unlawful activity must be filed in court within 90 days of the retaliatory activity taken against you. However, if the retaliatory activity was job termination, Michigan law states that a claim for wrongful discharge may be filed within 3 years of the termination.
If the retaliatory action involved a reduction in wages or benefits, complaints should be filed with the Michigan Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. The statute of limitations for this type of claim is much shorter and must be filed within 30 days of the retaliatory activity. Once a claim is filed, an investigation will commence, and your employer may be ordered to pay you wages and any backpay.
No matter what type of claim you’re filing, it is important to consult local statutes in your jurisdiction to make sure there is not a shorter statute. Filing in the proper court within the statute of limitation is extremely important in whistleblower matters. To avoid the loss of your rights and protections as a whistleblower, it can be helpful to consult an experienced attorney.