No whistleblower protection for reporting violation of "suspected law"
Cheryl Debano-Griffin claimed whistleblower protection after she was fired for complaining about misuse of ambulance funds and inadequate ambulance service. She argued that under Michigan law, she was entitled to whistleblower protection, even though she could not identify the particular statute that her employer was allegedly violating. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the statute providing protection for reporting a "suspected violation of law" would not apply to an employee's report of a violation of "suspected law." The case is Debano-Griffin v. Lake County and Lake County Board of Commissioners. We have sincere reservations about whether this decision reasonably fulfills the intent of the legislators who adopted the Whistleblower law: they didn't expect whistleblowing employees to be lawyers: they wanted to protect people who brought to the public's attention "suspected violations of the law." It seems like another example of semantics being elevated over good sense.