Most states, including Michigan, have at-will employment laws. In most cases, an employer can terminate workers’ employment at any time, for any reason (or for no reason at all).

There are exceptions to those laws, and it is important to know them.

Common law protections

These protections come through modifications made by the courts. Michigan employers cannot dismiss an employee if the firing went against public policy. That might be retaliation. They cannot dismiss you for enforcing your rights supported by public policies.

Statutory protections

Michigan’s Legislature has statutory protections for some activities. That includes protections for whistleblowing and if you participated in protected activities. They cannot retaliate against you for activities related to civil rights, minimum wage, occupational safety and health, payment of wages and fringe benefits. They also cannot dismiss you in most cases related to disabilities.

They cannot end your work for any of your activities related to statute protections.

There are statutory protections for a variety of activities. You are allowed to participate on boards and protect your rights that are related to:

  • Discrimination/civil rights
  • Healthcare workers
  • Minimal wage
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Payment of fringe benefits or wages
  • Whistleblowing activities

The facts of your job dismissal matter

All legal cases are unique and the details of your case matter. Your dismissal might have been illegal if your former employer violated your rights. Remember, in most cases when you are filing a lawsuit, you have three years to take legal action.

People often feel overwhelmed when they lose their jobs. There are times when you can file a lawsuit. It is important to understand when a lawsuit is appropriate and your best course of action.