In 1997, Randy Walli, a pipe fitter at the Hanford nuclear power plant in Washington state, was told to help build a pipeline using valves that would be subjected to more pressure than specified by the manufacturer. Concerned about the possible impact on himself, his fellow workers, and the environment, Walli blew the whistle. The result? Walli and four members of his crew were laid off. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the layoffs violated its rules protecting whistle-blowers from illegal firings. All five were rehired, then subjected to hostility from coworkers, made to perform more dangerous jobs than before, and fired again within a year. OSHA ruled in the workers’ favor again, but the contractor running Hanford appealed, and this time the workers are taking their case to the courts. Meanwhile, instead of cracking down on the contractor for firing whistle-blowers, the Department of Energy is paying its legal fees — using nearly $1 million in taxpayer money.