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Worker claims wrongful termination after reporting tax issues

On Behalf of | May 21, 2021 | Employment Law

Though employees may hold a subordinate position in their workplace, there may come a time they feel as if they have to keep their superiors in check. Sometimes, that could involve bringing wrongdoing to the attention of the appropriate parties. Unfortunately, not everyone in a higher-up position likes having his or her authority questioned, and workers could face wrongful termination for trying to make sure the law is followed.

Michigan readers may be interested in a lawsuit recently filed in another state involving such a scenario. According to reports, a woman who had worked for the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority for 17 years was terminated from her position after bringing up tax-related concerns to the commission. Apparently, the woman and other commissioners receive per diem payments that go toward expenses incurred during work trips. The payments must be reported as income, and the woman stated that the commission was not properly reporting those payments to the IRS and the state’s Department of Revenue.

The woman stated she brought up the issue multiple times and was rebuffed. Soon after she was terminated from her position. Some addition details included in her legal claim are:

  • Some commission members would receive thousands of dollars in per diem payments that were not reported to the IRS and Department of Revenue as income.
  • Multiple members refused to fill out for 1099 forms necessary to report the income for tax purposes.
  • The worker who was fired had attempted to deliver 1099 forms filled on behalf of the commission members who refused to fill out their own forms, but at least one member would not accept the form.
  • The woman was terminated from her position at a commission meeting at the request of a commission member who refused the 1099 form.

A person who faces wrongful termination for trying to ensure that the laws are followed can feel a great sense of injustice, as they should. Workers in Michigan in similar situations may want to ensure that they understand their legal options to the best of their abilities and take steps to protect their employment rights. Because it can be challenging to take on such an endeavor, having professional legal help is often wise.