Search Site
Menu
Whistleblower Retaliation a Big Problem at Hanford Cleanup Site

In eastern Washington state, crews have been working on one of the most intensive and costly environmental cleanups in the U.S. history, addressing the site of a former nuclear production complex.

This past summer, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a workers’ union and a watchdog group filed a motion asking a judge to force the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, to provide better protection to cleanup site workers, who may be exposed to topic vapors and other hazards. Ferguson told a local news affiliate that there is a “culture of indifference by the federal government and their contractors” at the Hanford site.

Suppressing whistleblowers a common issue

The motion came about a year and a half after Sandra Black, who was in charge of hearing out worker concerns for another Department of Energy contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNR), was fired after speaking with U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators. Black says she refused to cover up the concerns of SRNR employees and that the company’s attorney interfered with her investigations on a number of occasions.

The GAO report that stemmed from the Black case indicated that the Department of Energy had failed to take any meaningful action to hold its contractors accountable in meeting federal regulations.

This all relates back to the Hanford site, where workers may be exposed to dangerous chemicals on a regular basis. However, when employees raise safety concerns, the Department of Energy and its contractors seem to be pushing back rather than addressing them. As taxpayers continue to invest millions of dollars into the cleanup, it appears as though there is little relief for workers who may be exposed to highly dangerous materials as they perform their duties.

This is yet another example of why it’s so important for whistleblowers to step up and expose potential ethics violations or illegal activities within their businesses or organizations. If you would like to explore this issue further, consult a dedicated attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers in Dallas, Texas.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra