Thompson v Beacon Specialized Living (2020) – award of over $170,000 in damages for employee who was terminated following her reports of an unsafe work environment. It was determined she was a Whistleblower and her reports were the reason for her termination. The employees at an adult foster care home had been assaulted by residents. The employee filed a complaint with MIOSHA, complaining that the company wasn't protecting employees and allowing an unsafe workplace. After her complaint was known, her supervisor told her that if she failed to sign the documents, she would be sent to another facility where they house “hardened criminals.”
When the employee still refused to sign, a meeting was held with HR. When she again refused to sign a training acknowledgement that she thought waived her right to a safe workplace, the employer fired her, although the employer considered it to be a resignation. The judge found that " This meeting appeared to be a show of force designed to intimidate or pressure Respondent to resign because she had filed a health and safety complaint."
Although the employer tried to appeal the administrative law judge's decision, the appeal was denied and the opinion affirmed by the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court.
After a three day trial, Bos & Glazier was successful in recovering lost wages and the employer was required to reinstate the employee to her former position.
The related opinion is available here: