Let us say that you work for a manufacturer in Detroit. You have only been with the company for a few months, but that has been long enough for you to observe that there are violations of certain safety laws.
Although the company has posted the OSHA regulations, your supervisor is not enforcing some of them. You feel you should report this to someone, but who? And if you do, what repercussions would there be?
The Michigan protection act
Anyone who reports conduct that endangers employees, as you are willing to do, should not be afraid of retaliation. That is why the Michigan legislature passed The Whistleblowers’ Protection Act of 1980, which these lawmakers designed to protect you if you report a suspected violation of local, state or federal law.
The Act basically that your employer cannot threaten or dismiss you if you report a violation or suspected violation of a law. For example, if your supervisor finds that you have reported a hazardous condition that goes against OSHA standards, he or she cannot reassign you or recommend your termination because you have become a whistleblower. Under the Act, neither the terms of your employment, the privileges of your employment nor your compensation can be affected because you have raised red flags about unsafe conditions in your workplace.
If you believe that the company you work for is not adhering to the standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and that potentially hazardous conditions in the workplace exist as a result, you have the responsibility to report it. It requires a certain amount of courage to become a whistleblower, but your co-workers will appreciate your stepping up. In addition to the Michigan Act, there are also federal laws designed to protect employees who report suspected company violations.