Higham, S. & K. Belval. (2014, June 29).Workplace secrecy agreements appear to violate federal whistleblower laws (2014, June 29). The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/workplace-secrecy-agreements-appear-to-violate-federal-whistleblower-laws/2014/06/29/d22c8f02-f7ba-11e3-8aa9-dad2ec039789_story.html?wpisrc=nl_hdtop
[Excerpted] In November 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy asked contract employees at the Hanford plutonium processing plant in Washington state to take an unusual oath.The Washington Post interviewed Donna Busche, who managed environmental and nuclear safety at the Hanford waste treatment facility for federal contractors. She was fired after whistleblowing about safety issues. She had signed Hanford's non-disclosure agreement, which she described as a "gag order": “The message was pretty clear: ‘Don’t say anything to anyone, or else.’ ”
The DOE wanted them to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from reporting wrongdoing at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear facility without getting approval from an agency supervisor. The agreements also barred them from using any information for financial gain, a possible violation of federal whistleblower laws, which allow employees to collect reward money for reporting wrongdoing.