Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Whistleblowers entitled to certain legal protections

Employees, in Michigan and elsewhere, are often considered the life-blood of a business. Without the hard work offered by those at every level, a company may fail to thrive. Those who are at the front lines will be some of the first to notice when things are not up to par with company standards. Those who choose to speak out against any such issues, generally defined as whistleblowers, should be able to do so without fear of retaliation.

Taking a stand against co-workers or company leaders is, in no means, an easy thing to do. It is certainly something most would not do without careful consideration or hesitation. To help employees feel more comfortable about speaking up, Congress is working on more ways to protect these whistleblowers. Unfortunately, there are those who feel they are being punished for coming forward with certain information.

For example, in the past year, VA facilities across the country have come under fire for patient care problems. Two of the employees who brought this information to light are now claiming they are the victims of retaliation by their employer. These individuals, both of whom work in administrative positions, claim they are being denied access to certain information necessary for performing their jobs, are being excluded from meetings and have had responsibilities taken away from them.

There are several federal measures that have been passed to help whistleblowers and protect them from retaliation. However, some employers may try to find a way around these measures. Employees of companies in Michigan, who feel they are facing unwarranted repercussions for coming forward with information, do not have to face these situations alone. Legal help is available to put an end to any retaliation, reinstate positions if fired or to seek compensation for any losses suffered as a result of choosing to taking a stand.

Source: USA Today, "Alabama VA whistle-blowers claim retaliation", Mary Troyan and Kala Kachmar, March 19, 2015

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