KNOXVILLE (AP) – The U.S. Department of Labor has ruled in favor of a nuclear engineer who says the Tennessee Valley Authority fired her in retaliation for reporting safety and personnel concerns.

According to the Labor Department order obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel, the federal agency is ordering the utility to restore Beth Wetzel's job and compensate her more than $200,000 in back pay, damages and legal fees.

TVA said it fired Wetzel for insubordination by speaking negatively about a supervisor, but the Labor Department ruled Wetzel properly raised safety concerns and gave “honest” testimony during an internal investigation.

A TVA spokesman said the company disagrees and will appeal.

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