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Whistleblowing in Michigan

If you believe that your employer may be breaking the law or acting in a way you believe to be legally unethical, you may have the grounds to report this behavior to the authorities. The act of reporting an employer's illegal actions is known as whistleblowing.

Being a whistleblower is not an easy position to be in and if you feel obligated to report the actions of your employer you may also be feeling anxiety and concern in regard to your continued employment. Luckily, the state of Michigan has taken legal measures to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

In 1980, the state of Michigan passed The Whistleblowers' Protection Act. In it, the court specified exactly which actions an employer can and cannot take in retaliation after an employee of theirs has reported their illegal activities. It also lists legal protections for whistleblowing employees.


If an employer is conducting illegal activity and one of their workers reports their actions to the proper authorities, The Whistleblowers' Protection Act states that the employer may not discriminate against the employee or anyone acting on the employee's behalf. In this case, discrimination includes firing or threatening the whistleblower.

Employers are required to post notices and other relevant materials in order to keep their workers informed of their rights, protections and obligations under the law. However, employers are not required to compensate workers for any fees and/or charges that may have been amassed over the course of any investigations.


Employees who believe that their employer has attempted to retaliate against them for whistleblowing must take legal actions within the 90-day period following any retaliations or violations of their protections. If an employee does bring forth charges against their employer in court, they must provide enough viable evidence to prove that they or a person acting on their behalf has had their rights and protections violated. If the employee's claim in accepted by the court, they may be awarded appropriate compensation in the form of reinstatement of their job, their benefits, back pay, etc.

The situations that merit whistleblowing are very rarely easy for the whistleblower. For many, their concerns regarding their continued employment are enough to give them pause when considering their course of action. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations that have been put into place in order to protect the individuals who are attempting to hold their employers accountable for their behavior.

This area of law can be complicated and it is not uncommon for employers who have been accused of illegal activity to fight back against such claims, but the assistance and expertise of a knowledgeable legal professional will allow you to ensure your protections. If you believe that the actions of your employer merit whistleblowing, it is best to consult with a trained legal professional in order to decide a course of action.

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