Two former technology contractors at Hanford have won their whistleblower case, stating they were fired because they raised concerns about the safety and effectiveness of a new electronic medical records system.
For example, under the system, workers with beryllium disease cannot be assigned to work where there are known beryllium-contaminated areas. Hanford Challenge attorney Nicholas Peterson adds the two were awarded over $216,000 in back pay and damages following a six-day trial.
As for the system that crashed several times, an outside agency has since recommended it be replaced.
Following the Hanford whistleblower lawsuit, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden released a statement saying this in-part confirms the Energy Department is not doing enough to curb retaliation against workers who speak out.
Wyden went on to add this is why he is looking to hold the department’s contractors accountable and protect the employees working there.
“Today’s decision is a big win for these Hanford whistleblowers and for workers and communities affected by the Hanford clean-up. But it confirms – yet again – that the Energy Department stands idly by while its culture of retaliation against whistleblowers prevails,” Wyden said. “Examples from our July Government Accountability Office report show that Kirt Clem and Matt Spencer are certainly not alone. That is why I am looking for more ways to hold Energy Department contractors accountable and protect whistleblowers, since it’s clear the Energy Department won’t do so.”