Attorney’s labor employment law covers many areas, including one that has seemingly caused many firings in the past – Whistleblowers Law. If you are in a position where you know your boss is breaking the law, you should contact specialists in, attorney’s labor employment law.
For instance, if you happen to live in Michigan, attorney’s labor employment law states their Whistleblower statute offers protection for employees who report or are about to report a suspected violation of the law. This also covers someone who is asked to participate in an investigation or hearing of a public body. The employee can not be punished by the employer for participating in these situations.
Now one thing is critical here. Under attorney’s labor employment law, the Michigan Whistleblowers statute of limitations is really short. You MUST file a lawsuit within 90 days of reporting a violation. This short filing period is the shortest of any of the other types of employment case law scenarios.
The violation reported (or about to be), under attorneys labor employment law, must be a violation of a statute, regulation or rule enacted by the state of Michigan or its political subdivisions (cities, counties) or the United States. In addition, the breach of law must be reported to a public organization or governmental agency. It cannot be reported to a private organization.
Now here comes the hard part – the burden of proof. The one who reports must (in good faith) believe a violation has taken place. They must also be able to show the employer knew he/she was the whistleblower and took action against him/her BECAUSE the violation was reported – not for some other reason. This is a tough thing to prove and as you can see, the parameters are rather vague. A sort of he says/she said kind of thing.
Other states have legislation or court decisions in this area. There are also federal statutes that apply. The most well known Act is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 USC 1514A(a).
There are other states that allow you to file a suit if your firing violates public policy. This policy does tend to vary from state to state, so it would be best to check with a lawyer prior to proceeding. Many of these cases require a close examination of the prevailing case law before a decision is made to file a lawsuit. One quick example would be an employee fired for filing a workers compensation claim. Again, proving this is the result of filing the claim is the key to this type of case.
In short, because the laws vary so much from state to state, always make certain to consult an experienced lawyer.