Court rejects Whistleblower claim as not timely
In Gilmore v. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Flint, Inc. and Sylvester Jones, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision granting summary disposition to the defendants. Gilmore had sued for wrongful termination and violation of the Whistleblower's Protection Act (WPA). Defendant Jones claimed Gilmore was fired for disclosing confidential client information; Gilmore claimed she was terminated for complaining about and threatening to report her suspicions of misappropriation of funds by Jones.
There was no dispute that Gilmore's WPA claim was filed late: it must be filed within 90 days after the occurrence of the alleged violation. Gilmore argued, however, that her public policy retaliation-wrongful termination claim should still be allowed to go forward. Both courts concluded, however, that recognizing such a public policy claim would constitute an "end-run" on the statutory time limits adopted in the WPA and concluded that the retaliation claim expired with the WPA claim. They also held that pursuing a non-mandatory administrative remedy did not toll the running of the 90 day limit.