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A Better Partnership
May 24, 2017

MSC grants MOAA to consider when the 90-day limitations period under the Whistleblowers Protection Act is triggered

The Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument in Millar v. Construction Code Authority, No. 154437, to address whether a claim under the Whistleblowers Protection Act (“WPA”) accrues when a plaintiff is informed of his or her termination or when the decision is made to terminate the plaintiff.  

Bruce Millar was employed as an inspector for the Construction Code Authority (“CCA”), and was responsible for performing inspections in the City of Imlay City (the “City”) and Elba Township (the “Township”).  In March 2014, both the City and the Township sent letters to the CCA, indicating that they no longer wanted Millar to perform inspections.  The CCA sent a letter to Millar informing him of these decisions, which he received on March 31, 2014.  Millar subsequently filed a complaint against the CCA, the Township, and the City, alleging that his termination violated the WPA.  The trial court granted summary disposition in favor of the Defendants.
The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision, holding that an individual who alleges a violation of the WPA must commence an action within 90 days after the alleged violation occurred, beginning on the date the wrong was committed, not when the damage to a plaintiff actually occurs.  Thus, Millar’s claim accrued when the City and Township sent letters to the CCA terminating Millar in retaliation for his protected activity, not when he actually received the letter from the CCA.

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