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Companies can't treat whistleblowers poorly

Whistleblowers have to be protected by the government, which wants whistleblowers to help monitor what companies are doing, making sure their actions are within the law. When people step up and report something that they know is illegal, the company cannot then treat them poorly or aggressively by doing any of the following:

-- Making threats to the employee.-- Creating a policy to try to deter or punish whistleblowers.-- Blacklisting that worker within the industry or community.-- Refusing to give the employee promotions or raises at the company, which have been earned, due to the report.-- Refusing to pay overtime in appliance with state laws.-- Firing that employee or refusing to hire (or rehire) him or her.-- Giving the employee a demotion.-- Suspending the employee.-- Cutting back the employee's hours or reducing the amount he or she is paid in any other way.-- Trying to intimidate the employee.-- Reassigning or transferring the employee to another position that is worse or less desirable.

Essentially, the company cannot do anything to retaliate in order to get revenge on the employee for making the report. It also cannot create or promote a hostile work environment, trying to get the employee to quit so that he or she will not need to be fired. Executives and other workers must treat the whistleblower in a fair manner, just as all of the other employees are treated.

If you are a whistleblower and your company is doing one of the things noted above, there are legal options open to you in Michigan.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Your Rights as a Whistleblower," accessed Sep. 17, 2015

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