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Whistleblowers File Federal Lawsuit Against Tennessee Valley Authority

Three former members of the Tennessee Valley Authority were removed from their positions after they alerted federal officials about safety concerns and violations. Now, they are suing the utility company in a federal court.

The former nuclear oversight managers who blew the whistle on nuclear safety issues were Melody Babb, Deanna Fultz and Mark Richerson. According to their lawsuit documents, they claim they were fired in 2019 and publicly targeted and humiliated as retaliation for blowing the whistle to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the TVA Office of INspector General about repeated safety concerns and intimidation of whistleblowers at the authority’s three nuclear power plants.

Case background

In the lawsuit, the three whistleblowers say the TVA removed them from their positions and also eliminated an independent whistleblowing program called the Employee Concerns Program. Upon completing these tasks, the TVA allegedly created a handpicked group of overseers for a new program that was specifically designed, according to the whistleblowers, to eliminate dissent and intimidate any employees considering blowing the whistle on internal wrongdoing.

Through the old program, employees were able to go to their managers with concerns about safety violations at the TVA, and those oversight managers would then launch an internal investigation while protecting the anonymity of the whistleblowing workers.

However, under the new program, oversight managers ask the employee if they wish to anonymous and then report concerns to their bosses instead of investigating the concerns independently.

The NRC and TVA OIG both have accused TVA of harassing and terminating whistleblowers illegally as a means of silencing them.

For more information about the steps you can take if you believe you’ve been a victim of wrongful termination or whistleblower retaliation, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.

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