When one is aware of anything wrong or illegal going on at his or her place of work, it can be a tough decision to stand up and say something about it. Fear of retaliation is certainly understandable. However, whistleblower protection laws do exist in Michigan and elsewhere to help prevent this.
According to state laws, an employer is not permitted to terminate or discriminate against an employee who has chosen to share the wrongs that have or are currently happening in his or her workplace. It is also against the law for an employer to threaten or discriminate against an employee who is an active participant in a public hearing, court action or other inquiry regarding such an issue. If an employer is found to have violated the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, the individual responsible or the company may have to pay a civil fine. Currently, the fine amount is set at $500.00.
Those who believe that they are victims of wrongful termination or discrimination due to their whistleblower status may have legal recourse. However, there is a time limit on how long one has to take action. Currently, civil claims for alleged violations must be made within 90 days of their occurrence.
Being a whistleblower can put one in a tough position personally and professionally if his or her employer violates the protection laws offered to such individuals. An experience employment law attorney may be able to help victims of whistleblower violations seek compensation for any losses they have experienced. If legal claims are successfully litigated, a Michigan civil court may award monetary damages for back pay, lost benefits and legal fees. In cases of wrongful termination, it may also be possible for one to be reinstated to his or her position within the company — if desired