Hanford whistleblowers awarded $216,000 in back pay, compensation via Tri-City Herald

Two Hanford whistleblowers have been awarded back pay and compensation after they raised safety concerns related to a medical tracking system and then were laid off. Associated Press
Two Hanford whistleblowers have been awarded $216,000 in back pay and compensation, plus interest and attorney fees, after being suspended from their jobs by Computer Sciences Corp.

The two workers were suspended in September 2012 after they reported failures in a new electronic medical record system, including a problem tracking health risks for individual workers.

The problem created the potential for workers at risk for chronic beryllium disease to be exposed to the metal, despite medical restrictions that should have protected them.

CSC initially was ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to pay back wages of $186,000 to the two former workers in late 2014.


In addition, “special pay” the employees were offered as they worked long hours to try to get the medical record system ready to operate was withheld.

CSC said withholding the special pay was not retaliatory.

“Whatever this evidentiary hash may be, it is not clear, and it is not convincing,” the judge said in his decision.

Most of the back pay in the judgment went to Clem, as Spencer had a non-Hanford job lined up for when HPM took over the contract, knowing HPM planned to cut IT positions. Clem was not offered a job with HPM or interviewed, even as openings became available.

Clem received back pay totaling almost $173,000, which included the special pay he was told he would receive and then was denied. Clem also received $30,000 in compensatory damages and Spencer received $10,000.

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