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COMPLAINT AGAINST WESTINGHOUSE HANFORD DISMISSED, HANFORD SAYS

COMPLAINT AGAINST WESTINGHOUSE HANFORD DISMISSED, HANFORD SAYS
 RICHLAND, Wash., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law judge has dismissed a complaint of harassment and discrimination against Westinghouse Hanford Co. brought by employee Paula D. Nathaniel, Westinghouse announced today.
 Nathaniel complained she was subjected to harassment and discrimination after reporting what she claimed was a safety concern near Hanford's underground waste storage tank 101-SY.
 Judge James J. Butler, in an order dated March 6, recommended dismissal because evidence showed Westinghouse Hanford Co. did not subject Nathaniel to unlawful discrimination or violate any law.
 Westinghouse Hanford Co. President Tom Anderson said the company is certainly gratified with Judge Butler's decision. "We encourage our employees to resolve their concerns by working directly with their management, or to use one of the several programs we've established. Those methods are effective," Anderson said.
 Butler noted in his decision that Westinghouse Hanford provided every assistance it could to "help this young woman through a list of seemingly endless problems... It appears that every way Nathaniel turned she got more help from (her) employer."
 Butler's dismissal of Nathaniel's complaint followed a three-day hearing conducted in Richland in October 1991. Nathaniel was represented by the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a Washington, D.C., group. The GAP represents several other Hanford employees who have made similar harassment complaints.
 Nathaniel, a Hanford employee since 1989, complained that she observed another employee smoking in an instrument building near waste tank 101-SY. She believed the smoking could ignite gases present in the tank and cause an explosion. Westinghouse Hanford officials verified the area was designated a no-smoking area to avoid ingestion of radioactive particles, not because smoking would cause an explosion.
 In his decision, Butler wrote that Nathaniel's much- publicized complaint about an explosion hazard caused by smoking was "only her means of gaining added attention to her complaints..." in her dispute over the conduct of a co-worker.
 Butler's decision and recommendation for dismissal will be reviewed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
 Nathaniel is still an employee of Westinghouse Hanford Co. and has been receiving benefits and compensation since December 1990.
 In a separate, but related matter, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently dismissed a complaint of harassment brought by Nathaniel against Westinghouse Hanford Co. The EEOC found that Westinghouse did not violate any federal laws or regulations and determined there was no cause to proceed with the complaint.
 Westinghouse Hanford Co. is the management and operations contractor for remediation and restoration of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington state.
 -0- 3/10/92
 NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of Judge Butler's decision are available upon request.
 /CONTACT: Craig Kuhlman of Westinghouse Hanford, 509-376-6826/ CO: Westinghouse Hanford Co. ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM-JH -- SE012 -- 7130 03/10/92 21:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1992
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