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TBA-0042 - In the Matter of Curtis Hall

This Decision considers two Appeals of an Initial Agency Decision (IAD) issued on March 15, 2007, by a Hearing Officer in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). The IAD addressed the merits of a whistleblower complaint filed by Curtis Hall against his former employer, Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI), under the Department of Energy’s Contractor Employee Protection Program, 10 C.F.R. Part 708. See Curtis Hall, 29 DOE ¶ 87,022 (2007). In his complaint, Mr. Hall alleged that BNI inappropriately selected him for termination under a reduction in force (RIF) in retaliation for his having made disclosures protected under the provisions of Part 708. In the IAD, the OHA Hearing Officer found that BNI had retaliated against Mr. Hall in violation of Part 708, and ordered BNI to take certain remedial action. In its Appeal, BNI challenges the IAD’s findings of liability in the case. OHA has designated BNI’s Appeal as Case No. TBA-0064. Mr. Hall’s Appeal focuses on the remedy provided in the IAD, arguing principally that the Hearing Officer should have afforded the parties an opportunity to submit arguments on matters relating to the appropriate relief in the case. OHA has designated Mr. Hall’s Appeal as Case No. TBA-0042. As set forth in this Decision, I have determined that BNI’s Appeal is without merit and that the Hearing Officer’s liability determination contained in the IAD should be sustained. With regard to Mr. Hall’s Appeal, I have determined that some portions of it have merit and that the Appeal should be granted in part.