On April 12, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments on an important issue for employees and employers under The Whistleblowers' Protection Act (WPA) in the case of McNeil-Marks v MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot. In McNeil-Marks, the Michigan Court of Appeals expanded what constitutes a member of a "public body" under the WPA to include Michigan licensed attorneys. The Court of Appeal's expansion may be short-lived. However, if McNeil-Marks is affirmed, employees will continue to have protection under the WPA if they threaten or actually report to their attorneys a good faith belief that employers violated the law.
New remedies for trade secret holders have stolen the headlines about the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016. However, the new law also provides substantial whistleblower protection for employees of companies that deal with trade secrets. The whistleblower provisions of the Defend Trade Secrets Act also provide powerful incentives for employers to notify employees of these new protections.