Though federal law requires the Department of Labor to safeguard whistle-blowers from reprisal, the department has been ignoring the law with regard to those who have complained about environmental and nuclear safety problems. Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Commission, is accusing the DOL of being compliant in blacklisting, which is a violation of federal law.
According to DOL documents Dingell obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, over 60% of nuclear industry-related whistle-blower settlements since 2000 have included permanent bans on working for the employer in question. The Government Accountability Project has petitioned the DOL to prohibit the bans. The department says it is "giving careful consideration" to the petition. One supposes that under this administration, "giving careful consideration" to the prospect of obeying the law should be looked at as progress.