WILLIAM SANJOUR

William Sanjour was a hazardous waste specialist at the EPA for 24 years when he took legal action against the agency in 1994 in order to protect his First Amendment right to free speech. Sanjour frequently spoke out about his deep concerns regarding hazardous waste problems at the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, a decommissioned nuclear weapons production complex in Washington State. His wrongful termination settlement of $4.1 million is the largest known legal award paid to a whistleblower in the Energy Department’s vast nuclear waste cleanup program. Moreover, he won a landmark lawsuit against the federal government which established the First Amendment rights of federal employees to blow the whistle on their employer. Without his risk-taking and his successful whistleblowing, it would be much more difficult for federal employees to openly criticize their employers without risking their jobs