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A Better Partnership
June 14, 2016

MSC grants oral argument to consider the applicability of a Michigan Civil Rights Act case to a Whistleblower Protection Act claim

In Smith v. City of Flint, No. 152844 the Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument to be accompanied by supplemental briefs on the application for leave to appeal to consider three issues. First, whether the Court of Appeals (COA) erred in applying Peña v Ingham Co. Rd Comm., 255 Mich App 299 (2003), a Michigan Civil Rights Act case, to the plaintiff’s claim under the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA), MCL 15.361. Secondly, whether the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to establish that he suffered an adverse employment action under the WPA.  Finally. if the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to establish that he engaged in a protected activity under the WPA. The COA, which we blogged about here, held that the adverse action against the employee must be more than a mere inconvenience, and Smith’s relocation was within the discretion of the employer and was part of Smith’s job duties. The COA also held that Smith was not engaged in a protected activity because his mere disagreement with the use of funds did not mean that the city engaged in wrongful conduct.    

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