In this case, the firm established an important precedent regarding the rights of temporary employees. In the nuclear industry, companies often hire employees to perform temporary “clean-up” work. These jobs can last only a few months. The whistleblower was fired for raising concerns, and could not obtain subsequent employment based on his bad reference. The Department of Labor ruled that although the job the whistleblower was fired from was only scheduled to last a few weeks, the whistleblower was entitled to damages arising from his inability to be re-employed doing similar temporary work. In other words, the company was liable to pay damages for all of the temporary jobs it did not hire him for, not just the one for which he was fired. The Labor Department Judge who heard the case ruled as follows:
“It is beyond a doubt, that as a road technician, Complainant would go where he could find work. Had there been no prospects for future employment at the D.C. Cook plant, Complainant undeniably would have sought employment at another plant under contract with Hydro/Westinghouse. Complainant has demonstrated that similarly situated employees were regularly retained and rehired by Respondent. Therefore, Respondent is liable for back pay beyond the original term of employment.“
This ruling increased his damages from less than $25,000 to $218,000 in back pay and $154,000 in front pay. The case established precedent on the rights of temporary workers to obtain damages for lost future employment caused by illegal retaliation.