|Case Forum:||Michigan Supreme Court|
|Keywords:||Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), Whistleblower, public concern|
Rosalind Rochkind (P23504) | Garan Lucow Miller, P.C. | 1000 Woodbridge Street | Detroit, MI 48207-3108 | 313-446-5522 | [email protected]
1. Michigan Townships Association (MTA)
Plaintiff, who was appointed Chief of Police by defendant, the Mayor of the City of Burton, filed suit after he was not reappointed by defendant at the beginning of his next term. Four years prior, Plaintiff threatened to report the City of Burton’s lawful denial of his accumulated vacation pay as a violation of law. Plaintiff contends that threatening to report the above referenced matter is the reason Defendant did not reappoint him. Plaintiff filed suit under Michigan’s Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Counsel argues that the WPA is intended to protect whistleblowers who report violations in order to promote the public interest, not individuals in “bad faith” who only wish to advance their own interests. Plaintiff’s threat was made in an effort to secure his job, not to act as a whistleblower. Therefore, the court should follow case precedent set in Shallal, that plaintiff’s actions do not fall under WPA protection. Should plaintiff’s actions fall under WPA protection, public employees would be able to dictate policy decisions of their employers, which is especially problematic for government employers. Counsel also argues that even if the WPA protects plaintiff’s actions, the adverse employment action was not a result of the plaintiff’s actions.
Michigan Supreme Court:
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||No|
Plaintiff sued defendants under the WPA after defendant city of Burton Mayor declined to reappoint plaintiff as the police chief for the city in November 2007. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that defendants terminated his employment because, in