Michigan, like the vast majority of states in the United States, is an at-will employment state. Essentially, this means that the law presumes you can quit your job, with or without notice, for any reason. Likewise, an employer may fire you, with or without notice or cause. However, your employer may not fire you (even as an at-will employee) for an illegal reason. For example, your employee cannot terminate your employment if such termination violates discrimination laws. As an employee, You are protected by both Federal and Michigan anti-discrimination Statutes. Under the federal statute, an employer is cannot terminate an employee if the termination is based on the employee’s:
- Age (only applies to persons over 40)
- National Origin
In addition, the Michigan Anti-Discrimination Statute, goes even further, barring termination based on the employee’s:
- Marital Status
- Height and Weight
- HIV/AIDS Status
- Misdemeanor arrest record
While Federal law only applies to employers of a certain size, the Michigan statute applies to all employers, regardless of size.
In addition, the anti-discrimination statutes do not only protect the employee from being fired but also protects the employee from a wide variety of adverse employment decisions:
- Unequal Pay
- Unequal treatment
Finally, there are other exceptions to Michigan’s at-will employment law, apart from discrimination. One such example is the Whistleblower Act which prevents your employer from terminating you if you made an official complaint regarding some illegal activity your employer engaged in.
Contact Our Michigan Employment Attorneys Today
Employee discrimination (and wrongful termination) is an extremely complex, and developing, area of the law. Only an attorney who is intimately familiar with employment law can fully evaluate your situation to determine whether you may have a valid claim against your employer. If your employment has been terminated, or if you believe your employer has made an illegal ( and adverse) employment decision against you regarding your employment, call The Cronin Law Firm for a free initial consultation.