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Sterling Employment Law

Aides fired in political affair cover-up file whistleblower claim

Cases involving wrongful termination in Michigan and across the country can involve numerous issues and happen for a great many reasons. In some instances, they will begin in a certain way and expand to form a different case entirely. They might evolve into a whistleblower case if the circumstances warrant it. When a person files a case to protect their employee rights, it is imperative to have an idea as to the foundation of the case and how it can move forward. Some of these cases are newsworthy and result in significant press coverage and attention.

A prominent case that had led to a wrongful termination lawsuit against two state representatives had been filed against the two people involved in October. It has now extended to a whistleblower case against the state's House of Representatives itself. The case stems from two legislative aides who claim they were dismissed after they reported the extramarital affair the two lawmakers were having to the Speaker of the House. The lawsuit states that the two aides' dismissal was known to the Speaker's chief of staff as well as a House attorney and that the dismissal was a retaliatory decision. Their bosses, the male and female former representatives, requested that the aides be fired.

The case originally came to light as the male representative had sent an email claiming that he had sexual relations with a male prostitute and was an effort to make the allegations of the affair harder to believe if it was exposed by an alleged extortionist. The Speaker claims that the case has no merit. The filing of the whistleblower claim is separate from the original wrongful termination lawsuit.

Wrongful termination can involve various issues and be relatively straightforward. There are also times when it can involve internal issues and the reporting of illegality such as what is purportedly what happened in this case. Whistleblowers are protected from termination if they report on these behaviors. If there is a belief that a termination emanated from a person's status as a whistleblower, speaking to a legal professional with experience in pursuing claims under the whistleblower laws is a smart first step.

Source: wlns.com, "Two Courser, Gamrat aides file whistleblower suit against Michigan House," Dec. 7, 2015

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