WBU-17-0006 - In the Matter of Michelle B. Bryant

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On February 1, 2018, OHA granted an Appeal in part.  Ms. Michelle B. Bryant, an employee of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), appealed the dismissal of a whistleblower complaint she filed under 10 C.F.R. Part 708, the Department of Energy (DOE) Contractor Employee Protection Program. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Employee Concerns Program Manager (the ECP Manager) dismissed the complaint.  The ECP Manager found that some of Ms. Bryant’s allegations concerned actions that were more than 90 days old.  Thus, she dismissed some of the allegations for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that they were untimely.  The ECP Manager further found that Ms. Bryant’s remaining allegations did not constitute retaliation as defined in 10 C.F.R § 708.2 as they did not constitute discharge, demotion, or other similar negative action taken against Ms. Bryant by SNL. The ECP Manager concluded that the facts did not present issues for which relief could be granted, and therefore dismissed Ms. Bryant’s Complaint. With respect to whether the ECP Manager properly dismissed certain allegations in Ms. Bryant’s complaint for being untimely, OHA found that it was unclear whether Ms. Bryant was given an opportunity to show why she did not file her Complaint within the 90-day window. Thus, OHA remanded the Complaint to SNL so that Ms. Bryant can receive that opportunity. With respect to Ms. Bryant’s remaining allegations, OHA found that one alleged act may be an action that negatively affects the conditions of Ms. Bryant’s employment, and could constitute retaliation.  Therefore, OHA remanded the Complaint to SNL to address the identified portion of Ms. Bryant’s allegation of retaliation. Accordingly, OHA granted Ms. Bryant’s Appeal in part.  OHA Case No. WBU-17-0006