According to an article published by OPB, on Monday, September 26, a federal bill was introduced to safeguard whistleblowers at nuclear sites. Democratic senators Rod Wyden of Oregon, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri created the legislation.
Walter Tamosaitis, a high-profile Hanford whistleblower, stated there is a large learning curve when challenging the federal government since these situations usually entail a single person challenging a nation of taxpayer coffers. According to the news article, Tamosaitis was fired after he voiced his concerns regarding safety issues at Hanford’s waste treatment plant.
The recently passed bill seeks to create fairness for whistleblowers, like Tamosaitis, by providing them with more time to present their cases. As of now, whistleblowers are given 6 months, but the new bill will extend that to a year, if approved. In addition, government contractors will be liable for paying for these whistleblower cases unless the U.S. Department of Energy is, in some way, responsible.
Additionally, this bill seeks to broaden the definition of a whistleblower to someone who has waste, abuse, or fraud to report. As of now, federal laws only protect whistleblowers who file complaints about safety concerns.
To learn more about this legislation, read the news article here.
For more information regarding whistleblower cases, contact our legal team at Freidin Brown, P.A.