The U.S. Department of Labor has tentatively ordered Bechtel National to pay limited back wages plus $25,000 to a Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower who lost his job in 2011.

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Labor has tentatively ordered Bechtel National to pay limited back wages plus $25,000 to a Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower who lost his job in 2011.

Bechtel and former employee Walt Ford have 30 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If neither side files, the ruling becomes final.

Bechtel said Monday that it disagrees with the finding and did not retaliate against Ford for raising safety concerns.

The Tri-City Herald reported that the Department of Labor concluded that Ford’s role as a whistleblower in his 35 years at Hanford contributed to the decision to lay him off in November 2011.

Bechtel laid Ford off as all construction work was stopped at the Hanford vitrification plant’s Pretreatment Facility.