Companies in Michigan are required by law to respect employment rights. They are also prohibited from engaging in illegal activities. An employee who is aware of such violations or has been a victim can report the incident to the proper authorities. However, there are situations where an employee, who is known as a whistleblower after reporting an incident, can experience improper treatment from the company or from superiors. This is referred to as retaliation.
According to employment laws in the United States, retaliation against an employee on the grounds of reporting an activity by an employer that is against local, state or federal laws is considered a serious offense. The retaliation can be in the form of discharge from duty or in the form of discrimination at the workplace. In Michigan, these employees, known as "whistleblowers," are protected by the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act of 1980, in addition to the Federal Act of 1989.
Michigan truck drivers may be interested in the action taken by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in response to a trucking company's termination of a driver who was fired after refusing to violate safety regulations. The employee rights case was brought to the agency's attention after a whistleblower complaint was filed by the individual. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act provides drivers with protection from retaliatory behavior in cases involving their refusal to participate in unsafe driving activities.
Under the terms of a lawsuit settlement, a former efficiency coordinator who worked for the mayor of the city of Warren must destroy telephone recordings he made of his former employer. The plaintiff taped two telephone conversations in which the city mayor threatened violence against an ex-communications director and a former city attorney, both of whom the mayor felt were to blame for some of his political problems. The plaintiff had filed suit against the mayor and the city on July 19. In the suit, he alleged that he had been the victim of discrimination as a result of his reporting these conversations and leading to his termination, which constituted a violation of the state's Whistleblowers' Protection Act.
A Michigan court upheld a controversial right-to-work law that bans union fees as a condition of employment in the state. Employee rights were cited as the reason, but Michigan's heavily unionized work force saw the decision as a political strike against labor unions. The judges split 2-1 on the legality of the measure, a law that saw protests by thousands of union workers at the Capitol.
When it comes to state laws, people in Michigan know that it can get complicated and sometimes hard to follow. But what many people may not realize is that it's because of these complexities that cases often times get caught up in the court system for long periods of time before a resolution is ever made.
A former employee who believes that he was wrongfully terminated for reporting misconduct will appeal a Michigan jury's decision that his dismissal was not unlawful, his attorney said last week.