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WBZ-12-0005 - In the Matter of Jeffrey S. Derrick

On October 2, 2012, a Hearing Officer issued an Interlocutory Order denying a Motion to Dismiss filed by Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC (Shaw), regarding a complaint submitted by Jeffrey S. Derrick under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Contractor Employee Protection Program, set forth at 10 C.F.R. Part 708. Shaw alleged that Derrick’s Part 708 complaint should be dismissed because Shaw management had prior knowledge of Derrick’s disclosures concerning pipe installation at the DOE’s Mixed Oxide Fabrication Facility in Savannah River. The Hearing Officer determined that Derrick’s disclosures, for the pupose of deciding the Motion, were not identical to the issues raised in a prior NNSA Report which had been issued to Shaw’s management. Consequently, Shaw’s argument was unavailing. Shaw also alleged that Derrick’s alleged disclosures failed to describe a gross waste of funds or gross mismanagement. The Hearing Officer found that one of Derrick’s disclosures when viewed in the light of assuming that Derrick’s factual allegations were true, as required in the evaluation of a Motion to Dismiss, adequately described potential a gross waste of funds. Shaw also alleged that sufficient evidence existed to conclude to Shaw would have terminated Derrick notwithstanding his alleged disclosures. The Hearing Officer found that weighing the evidence regarding Shaw’s grounds for terminating Derrick was inappropriate and that Derrick’s complaint alleged sufficient temporal proximinity to create a rebuttable presumption that Derrick’s disclosures were a contributing factor in the decision to terminate him. Consequently, the Hearing Officer found that Shaw’s Motion should be dismissed.