LANSING — House and Senate Democrats unveiled a plan today to crack down on companies committing payroll fraud, increasing penalties for bad actors while strengthening oversight to protect businesses playing by the rules. Unscrupulous companies stole an estimated $429 million in wages and overtime pay from hardworking Michiganders between 2013 and 2015, impacting more than 2.8 million people. In addition to the impact on individual workers, payroll fraud costs Michigan taxpayers $107 million a year in tax revenue. In response, state Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), whose House Bill 4876 aims to expand the “Whistleblower Protection Act” to cover government employees, issued the following statement:

"One of the hallmarks of a strong society is a willingness to stand up for what is right and speak the truth, and we need to reward, not punish people for having the courage to do that. This type of injustice, like so many others, festers in the darkness, and if we want to stop it, we need people who are willing to shine a light on it. We have a responsibility to protect whistleblowers from retaliation if we want make those high ideals a reality.”