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What you should know about whistleblower protection

A “whistleblower” is a term used to describe an employee who comes forward to report a violation of the law or to denounce a wasteful or illegal practice by an employer. Although the term itself appears as far back as 1934 when it was used by P.G. Wodehouse in “Right Ho, Jeeves,” it became more mainstream during the early 1970s after Ralph Nader, a civic activist, used the term to avoid the negative stigma associated with terms, such as “informant” or “snitch.”

While there is always a chance that an employee who chooses to become a whistleblower could potentially face employment discrimination or even lose his or her job if he or she chooses to file a claim, there are actually numerous whistleblower protection laws in place on both the state and federal level. These laws are designed to protect employees who report employer misconduct or violations of the law and can assist them in the event that the employee is fired in retaliation for making a claim.

Although whistleblower protection laws actually make it unlawful for an employer to fire an employee who reports a violation or misconduct, it is important to realize that there are also variations in the law that can determine whether or not a whistleblower is afforded this type of protection. In some cases, a whistleblower may only be protected if he or she reports a violation or misconduct claim within 90 to 120 days of when the event initially occurred.

Individuals who are interested in learning more about whistleblower protection laws for Michigan may find valuable information by visiting the website.