Former VY employee sues Entergy

Tuesday May 10, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — A former employee of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is suing its parent company Entergy, for wrongful termination.

Peter Prince, of Spofford, N.H., had worked for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp., for 23 years before Entergy purchased the plant in 2002 and then another nine and a-half before his termination in January 2010.

“The bottom line is they just wanted to get rid of the guy and it was done grossly inappropriately,” said his attorney William McCarty said.

In 1986, he was hired as an auxiliary operator and within three years was promoted to radiation protection technician. A decade later, he was promoted again, this time to the role of radiation protection supervisor. Then in October 2007, due to company re-alignment, he was offered the position of senior nuclear support coordinator/operating experience.

He had the option to either accept the new role or be fired without severance pay, according to court documents filed by McCarty.

Prince began his new duties in November, 2007, but he alleges he was never provided a job description.

In January 2009, Price was evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea and referred to a sleep study evaluation. Due to the sleep lab schedule, the evaluation wasn’t performed until April 8, 2009.

Then-manager Sam Wender and supervisor Christine Eyre held a performance review with Prince in March 2009 for the previous year. He alleges that none of the concerns listed were brought to his attention. The review had an overall rating of “needs improvement.”….

It wasn’t until staff from Nine Mile Station contacted Entergy several times in March and April that Entergy agreed Prince’s unfavorable PADS entry was inaccurate.

Prince is currently working as a contractor at various nuclear facilities during outages and has to spend the majority of his time traveling.

“He has to miss a lot of holidays and family functions because of the current work situation,” McCarty said. “It’s not right.”
McCarty said that he and Prince are seeking payment for lost wages and future pension benefits that he would have occurred if he hadn’t been terminated.

He added that Entergy lawyers had filed that at least three of his client’s claims be dismissed. A court date is tentatively set for June 28 in Rutland.

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