Whistleblower Protection and Award Provisions in the Nuclear and Environmental Sectors

Statute & Citation Coverage Remedies
Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. § 5851

 

Employees of (a) Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or agreement State licensees or applicants for licenses; (b) contractors or subcontractors to licensees or license applicants; (c) certain contractors or subcontractors of the Department of Energy (DOE); (d) contractors or subcontractors of the NRC; (e) NRC; and (f) DOE are protected under the ERA.

Employees are protected when they (1) notify their employer of a violation of this provision or Atomic Energy Act (AEA); (2) refuse to engage in any practice made unlawful by this provision or AEA; (3) testify before Congress of in any State or Federal proceeding regarding this provision or AEA; (4) commence or cause to be commenced a proceeding under this provision or the AEA; (5) testify, assist or participate in a proceeding under this provision or the AEA.[4]

Preliminary reinstatement (after a hearing); permanent reinstatement to the employee’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of employment; compensatory damages; and all costs and expenses (including attorneys’ and expert witness fees) reasonably incurred.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. § 2622 Employers involved in the production or import of industrial chemicals in the United States are covered by TSCA.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of TSCA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under TSCA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this TSCA.[5]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; compensatory damages; and where appropriate, exemplary damages.
Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1367 Employers involved with facilities that discharge pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States are covered by the CWA employee protection provision.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of CWA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under CWA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this CWA.[6]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; and compensatory damages.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), 42 U.S.C. § 300j-9(i) Employers involved with facilities or activities relating to the acquisition or delivery of actual or potential drinking water from above or underground sources designed for consumption are covered by the SDWA employee protection provision.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of SDWA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under SDWA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this SDWA.[7]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; compensatory damages; and where appropriate, exemplary damages.
Resource, Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. § 6971 Employers involved in the treatment, storage, or disposal of solid and hazardous wastes are covered by RCRA.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of RCRA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under RCRA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this RCRA.[8]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; and compensatory damages.
Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. § 7622 Employers involved with facilities that discharge air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources that affect public health and the environment are covered by the CAA.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of CAA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under CAA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this CAA.[9]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; and compensatory damages.
Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (aka Superfund or CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9610 Employers involved with the clean-up of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment are covered by CERCLA.

Employees are protected when they (a) Provide (or are about to provide) information relating to a violation of CERCLA to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other appropriate Federal agency or department; (b) testify or are about to testify in any such proceeding under CERCLA; (c) refuse to perform duties in good faith, based on a reasonable belief that the working conditions are unsafe and unhealthful; and (d) participate or assist in a proceeding under this CERCLA.[10]

Reinstatement to the complainant’s former position together with the compensation (including back pay), terms, conditions, and privileges of the complainant’s employment; and compensatory damages.