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LWA-0006 - In the Matter of Helen Gaidine Oglesbee

This Decision involves a whistleblower complaint filed by Helen Gaidine Oglesbee (Oglesbee) under the Department of Energy's Contractor Employee Protection Program, 10 C.F.R. Part 708. Oglesbee has been and is currently an employee of Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC), the management and operating contractor at the DOE's Hanford Nuclear Site. She alleges that she made health and safety complaints to her immediate supervisor from December 1990 to August 1991, and that beginning in October or November 1991, she elevated these concerns to higher management officials at WHC. Oglesbee maintains that WHC took the following reprisals against her: failing to respond to her health-related issues and denying her access to reports and analyses of those issues; removing her designation as "lead" secretary; issuing her a performance improvement plan; transferring her involuntarily to another WHC office; issuing her a performance expectations letter; issuing her written reprimands, and delaying promotions to Level IV Secretary and to permanent Plant Engineer. These alleged actions occurred during the period January 1991 through June 1993. The DOE's Office of Contractor Employee Protection (OCEP) investigated the complaint and found that no reprisals had been taken against Oglesbee that would entitle her to relief under Part 708. Oglesbee requested a hearing before the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) under 10 C.F.R. § 708.9(a), reasserting her claim that reprisals were taken against her for raising health and safety concerns. The hearing in this case was held on June 15 and 16, 1994 in Richland, Washington.