DOE Issues NOPR Regarding Whistleblower Retaliation
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The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) to amend its rules to clarify that penalties may be assessed against certain contractors and subcontractors for violation of its prohibition against retaliating against whistleblowers for reporting violations of law, mismanagement, waste, abuse, or dangerous or unsafe workplace conditions, among other protected activities concerning nuclear safety. The NOPR would not alter the existing procedures for imposing civil penalties, but it would establish requirements specific to whistleblower retaliation concerning nuclear safety. The NOPR would explain the circumstances under which the DOE would investigate alleged violations of this prohibition and delineate which DOE regulations are DOE Safety Requirements, which, when violated, can trigger the assessment of civil penalties by the DOE. Comments on the NOPR are due by September 12, 2016.To view the Federal Register entry, click here.