Hanford Whistleblower who lost his job reaches settlement in lawsuit over safety concerns

"Millwright Walter Ford filed a lawsuit in federal court against Bechtel National, the contractor building the $17 billion plant and Aecom, its primary subcontractor.

The Department of Labor said in a ruling made in 2015 that Ford’s role as a whistleblower in his 35 years at the Hanford nuclear reservation contributed to a decision to lay him off in November 2011.

The Department of Labor found in 2015 that Ford “was scrutinized and treated more harshly than other employees.”

It ordered that Ford be paid back wages, attorney fees and $25,000.

Bechtel objected. But before the issue was resolved, the administrative law judge who ruled left his job.

Rather than go through another Department of Labor hearing, Ford filed a lawsuit in federal court in 2018, said his attorney, Nikolas Peterson of Hanford Challenge, when the case was filed.

The parties declined to talk about the settlement other than to say that all parties have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of the case."

Spotlight on Hanford: Stop the Shortcuts

Hanford cleanup and the future health of our beloved Pacific Northwest is under siege. The Department of Energy has taken actions to shortcut the nuclear cleanup and worker protections. 

In 2018, DOE unveiled plans to change the rules for how high-level nuclear waste is defined across the country, making it easier to leave more waste at sites like Hanford.

      The future health and safety of our region is not optional, it is essential.  We cannot allow DOE to leave waste at Hanford that they are required to remove, treat, and store in a place where it will not migrate through our soil, air, and water.

You play such an important role in safeguarding the future and your help is urgently needed.

Will you to be the champion Hanford needs? Making a donation today will protect the future and ensure that Hanford waste is fully cleaned up.