Ringsmuth Wuori PLLC has handled many types of employment matters, including whistleblower claims under Michigan law. Such claims are governed by special legal rules, statutes and standards of proof. In addition, there are strict time periods within which some of these types of claims must be brought. For example, whistleblower claims under the Whistleblower Protection Act have a strict 90-day window from the occurrence of the alleged violation (typically a firing) to bring a claim under the WPA, MCL 15.361 et seq.
Under the WPA, an employer cannot discharge, threaten or otherwise discriminate against an employee who truthfully reports a legal violation, or is requested to assist or appear before a public authority. The WPA provides a 90-day window from the occurrence of the alleged violation to file a civil action. Employees can seek reinstatement, back wages, fringe benefits, seniority rights, actual damages or any combination of these remedies. Liable employers can be ordered to pay all or a portion of the costs of litigation.
Some attorneys have tried to argue that there is a continuing violation to circumvent the 90-day limitation period. In 2005, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected such attempts. Moreover, courts have continued to reject claims that are not brought within the 90-day time period.
Employees who seek to file a “whistleblowers” claim need to consult their counsel as soon as possible to permit counsel time to file within the 90-day time period. This time limit is being strictly enforced under Michigan law.