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Whistleblower’s court victory on unsafe nuclear plant conditions – company will appeal

Firm to appeal nuclear plant whistleblower case, By The Associated Press, May 20, 2013 WICHITA, Kan.  — An engineering firm accused of firing a whistleblower for reporting unsafe conditions at an eastern Kansas nuclear power plant plans to appeal the ruling by federal regulators, the firm said Monday. 20 May 13The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Enercon Services violated whistleblower protections when it retaliated against an engineer for raising concerns during construction work at the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant in Burlington.

The company was ordered to pay $261,152 in back wages, damages and interest, plus attorney’s fees. OSHA found it violated the whistleblower protections of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), OSHA said Monday.

“Professionals who work in the nuclear power industry have a right and responsibility to express their professional opinion and report safety-related concerns,” OSHA acting regional administrator Marcia Drumm said in a news release. “The department’s responsibility is to protect all employees from retaliation for exercising basic worker rights. The ERA protects the workers, who, in turn, protect the public.”

OSHA said any appeal would go to the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges….. OSHA’s investigation concluded the engineer was fired in January 2012 for reporting breaches of minimum soil coverage caused by a trench dug during construction work and for refusing to provide an engineering justification for the use of concrete as backfill. He was fired a few days later.


May 20, 2013 - Posted by | Legal, USA

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