Workers in Michigan sometimes find themselves in an unsafe environment. They recognize that their employers have violated crucial safety standards or have broken the law.
Workers often feel compelled to speak up when they notice that there is something wrong with how the company that employs them operates. However, whistleblowers have reason to fear that the company will retaliate against them. So, how do workers blowing the whistle on their employers protect themselves from retaliation?
They verify their suspicions
Before taking the matter to internal authorities or regulatory agencies, workers need to know with certainty whether a violation occurred. Looking into the law or the safety standards for the industry will help workers effectively establish whether something worth reporting has actually occurred.
They put together documentation
Workers will need proof of certain types of conduct to convince their employers to take action or to convince regulatory agencies that have violation has transpired. Keeping a personal record of each issue that occurs could help a worker validate their claims when talking to management or an outside agency.
Additionally, workers planning to speak to their company or outside officials about suspected infractions will often want to keep records of those communications as well so that they can prove the company illegally retaliated against them. Whistleblowing laws at both the federal and Michigan state levels protect workers from companies punishing them for doing the right thing.
However, they will have to prove that they engaged in protected whistleblowing activities based on reasonable suspicions in order to convince the courts that they deserve the protection of a whistleblower.
Understanding how the law protects workers who speak up about misconduct and how to more effectively make use of those laws could make a major difference to someone whose sense of ethics compels them to address what they believe is a significant infraction on the part of their employer.