EPA Whistleblower Gets Job Back
Cate Jenkins was the first EPA official to warn of the dangers of the air at the World Trade Center ruins. Was she rewarded for an insight that was later proven correct? Nope, she was harassed and finally, in 2010, fired. This week she got her job back:
A federal court ordered that Cate Jenkins, a chemist at the Environmental Protection Agency, be reinstated to her job with back pay.
Her lawyer said the decision, although based on matters of legal process, amounted to vindication for Jenkins’s claims that the EPA had covered up the danger posed to first responders and others in lower Manhattan from the asbestos and highly corrosive dust that rose from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.
It was also a rare victory for whistleblowers, said lawyer Paula Dinerstein. “This doesn’t happen that often.”
Being a whistleblower requires courage and the ability to speak truth to power. Protecting whistleblowers is one way we ensure accountability for government.