Sunday, October 4, 2015

Former Staffers Sue Gamrat And Courser - Case Appears Frivolous - Taxpayers On Hook?

In a case that is sure to waste more taxpayer funds, former

aides Keith Allard and Ben Graham are suing former Michigan State Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat in Ingham County Circuit Court.  The two are seeking whistle-blower protection for reporting hostile behavior to House of Representatives staff before Courser and Gamrat fired them July 6 without explanation. They claim the firing was retaliation for reporting
Keith Allard and Ben Graham
ethical and campaign finance violations by their bosses to House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s office.

The fact is though many legal experts say they do not qualify for whistle blower protection. In addition both Allard and Graham were at-will employees.

Michigan is an “at-will” employment state. This means that absent an employment contract, both the employer and employee are free to terminate the employment at any given time, and for any legitimate purpose. Hence, it may be difficult to file a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge claim if your employment is considered to be at-will.

All Michigan House of Representatives employees have a non-tenured, "at will" employment status. It is the policy of the House of Representatives to employ, by the Constitution and applicable federal or state statutes, qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, height, weight or any other categories or groups protected by law.

Former State Representative Todd Courser stated that he fired Allard and Graham because their job 
performance was not up to his expectations. This reason alone would qualify as a legitimate firing under at-will.

The one important fact that Allard and Graham are also forgetting is that they would be out of a job now anyways since Gamrat was expelled and Courser resigned. 

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