Whistleblower claim dismissed; employer successfully disputes cause of termination
Carlos Prieskorn sued the University of Michigan Health System, arguing that it violated the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) when it fired him during his probationary period. Prieskorn, a phlebotomist, alleged that the University fired him for reporting patient-safety violations and time-card fraud, but the courts didn't buy his claim. The University alleged that it terminated Prieskorn for secretly taping a conversation with another staff member and for misleading another employee into giving up hours, falsely claiming that he was acting on a supervisor's order.
The court concluded that there was no question of fact regarding the reason for Prieskorn's firing, even though the supervisor admitted that Prieskorn had reported safety violations and that he was simply tired of Prieskorn's complaining.