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San Onofre whistle-blowers less protected than others in California via The LA Times

An obscure legal doctrine leaves whistle-blowers at the San Onofre nuclear plant with less legal protection than other California workers, including employees at the state’s only other nuclear plant.

San Onofre is majority owned and operated by Southern California Edison, a private company, but it sits on land leased from the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

That puts the plant in a so-called federal enclave, where courts have held that many California laws, including labor laws intended to protect whistle-blowers, do not apply.

Lawsuits filed in state court by San Onofre workers who claimed that they were fired or retaliated against for reporting safety concerns, sexual harassment and other issues have been tossed out because of the plant’s location.

San Onofre, which has been out of commission for more than four months because of equipment problems, was chastised two years ago by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for creating an atmosphere in which employees fear retaliation if they report safety concerns.

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