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Involuntary Terminations: Michigan

Involuntary Terminations requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Daniel G. Cohen, Pilchak & Cohen, P.C.


  • Absent strong at-will language, employers will have to defend whether their discharge decisions were for proper cause. This determination is made by jurors in most cases. See Termination for Cause.
  • Some franchisors will be shielded from liability for claims made against franchisees in the state, depending on their business relationship. See Protection for Franchisors.
  • Michigan employees who are terminated involuntarily may be eligible for unemployment benefits unless they have committed misconduct or otherwise been disqualified from benefits under Michigan's unemployment eligibility statute. See Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits.
  • Michigan law prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose violations of the discrimination laws or otherwise engage in legally protected activities. See Other Statutory Protections.
  • The Whistleblowers Protection Act protects employees who report or who are about to report violations and suspected violations of the law. See Protections for Whistleblowers.
  • Several other Michigan statutes contain anti-retaliation provisions, which prohibit employers from discharging employees for opposing violations and for otherwise asserting their rights under the statute. See Anti-Retaliation Legislation.
  • Other Michigan laws prevent employers from terminating employees for certain legally protected activities and prohibit employers from collecting or maintaining information regarding employees that is not related to their job, including social media information. See Other Statutory Protections.