This case was based on the City of Grand Rapids’ retaliation against two female police officers. State and federal law prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee for engaging in their legal or constitutional rights. For example, the employer may not retaliate against an employee for making a charge, filing a complaint, testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to these laws. The laws prohibit retaliation involving any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. If you believe your employer has engaged in discrimination, retaliation or sexual harassment you should take the following steps in this order:

(1) consult with an employment law attorney once you become aware of the actions;

(2) immediately read your employee handbook and follow your employer’s procedure for making a complaint; and

(3) if your employer does not resolve the problem, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days or with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) within 300 days.

Relevant laws

Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), MCL 37.2101 et seq.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC 2000e et seq.


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