Whistleblower Law Blog
GE-Hitachi Nuclear Plant Employee Files Whistleblower Lawsuit in Federal Court after Being Threatened and Demoted for Raising Safety Concerns
Harry Knight, an employee of Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC (GNF-A) a subsidiary of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC, last month filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA) against GE-Hitachi in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Knight, who has worked for GE for twelve years, alleges that the company retaliated against him in 2009 when it removed him from his position as Primary Emergency Director and Environmental Health and Safety Manager. Knight alleges that the facility manager and Senior Executive of GM Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Lisa Price, asked him to handle fire alarm activations at GNF-A’s Nuclear Power Plant in Wilmington, North Carolina in a way that did not follow the outlined federal licensing emergency plan guidelines. Knight refused to follow orders from Price, who instructed him to resolve alarm activation in a manner inconsistent with federal regulations. Knight claims that GE then placed him on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) because he disagreed with Price and raised safety concerns regarding protocol issues at the plant. Furthermore, Knight alleges that GE had a pattern of terminating and reassigning employees placed on PIPs, and that the company intended to terminate his employment after placing him on a PIP.
Knight is seeking punitive damages for wages, bonuses, and raises that he did not receive as a result of his demotion. He is also asking the court to order GE to reinstate his employment and terminate the individuals “directly involved in creating a chilled work environment.”
The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive nationwide whistleblower practice representing employees who have been victims of retaliation.