The government does not have eyes everywhere. This is why they encourage whistleblowing, i.e. people bringing attention to the unethical, unlawful and overall dangerous actions that an employer might engage in.
Because of this, whistleblowers have protection on both a federal and a state level.
Protections provided by the Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
The Michigan Whistleblowers’ Protection Act offers protections for whistleblowers in both private and public sectors. This act asserts that an employer cannot fire, discriminate against or threaten an employee for reporting wrongdoings or violations of federal or state laws.
This act also provides protection for not only the person who directly blew the whistle, i.e. made the initial report. It provides protection for those who participate in any public hearing, investigation, inquiry or any other court-related action which involves the employer and any alleged wrongdoings that they may have committed.
How is this act enforced?
Of course, many people have concerns that even with laws in place, they do not actually have any backing.
On top of that, employees must act quickly if their employer retaliated against them for blowing the whistle. They have 90 days to bring a civil action to the Michigan circuit court.
The court will examine the incident and determine whether or not to hit the accused employer with a fine. Other potential penalties include the employer having to pay back lost wages, reinstate seniority rights or fringe benefits and more.
Thus, when looking to protect one’s rights, it is important to act quickly when an employer acts out.