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Know your rights under Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act

When you are on the job in Michigan, you are entitled to certain protections under state law. One of those laws is the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act.

Under the act, it is unlawful for a Michigan employer to fire, threaten or discriminate against you, as an employee, because you reported or voiced your intention to report to a public agency what you considered to be a violation of federal, state or local laws or regulations. That means an employer can't fire you or change your pay, work terms or conditions, job location or privileges. You also cannot be disciplined for refusing to engage in an activity at the workplace that you know is illegal.

The law doesn't protect you from being disciplined if you file a knowingly false report, however.

If you think your employer has violated your rights and taken action against you, you can challenge your employer in court.

People who are found to have violated the law could face a civil fine of up to $500. In addition, if your employer has taken action against you, they can be ordered to repay back wages, reinstate any benefits and seniority rights, or pay actual damages. They also could be forced to repay reasonable fees that were part of the litigation.

If you believe your employer has violated the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act, it would be in your best interest to contact an attorney well versed in employee law. You need your job as well as any benefits provided to you by your employer. You are protected by Michigan law, and there is no reason to wait for a single second to appeal any discipline your employer might have enacted.

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