On May 8, 2020, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied the appeal of Ms. Mary Vanessa Black (Appellant) of the dismissal of her complaint against UT-Battelle, LLC
(Contractor), under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Contractor Employee Protection Program regulations, codified at Part 708 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (
Part 708). In her complaint, the Appellant alleged that the Contractor had terminated her employment in retaliation for making disclosures to senior DOE officials related to the
Contractor's plans to change the health insurance benefits it offered to its employees. The Head of Field Element concluded that the Appellant's disclosures were not protected under
Part 708, and therefore dismissed the Appellant's complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The Director of OHA concluded that the Appellant's alleged disclosures were not protected
under Part 708 as they did not allege a substantial violation of a law, rule, or regulation, a substantial and specific danger to employees or to public health or safety, or fraud, gross
mismanagement, gross waste of funds, or abuse of authority. As the Appellant failed to allege a protected disclosure, the Director determined that the Head of Field Element had properly concluded that he lacked jurisdiction to consider the complaint. Therefore, OHA denied the appeal. OHA Case No. WBU-20-0005.