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Con Ed Loses Its Fight On Dismissed Worker

Published: March 14, 1982

Publication: The New York Times

By Unknown

A Consolidated Edison mechanic who was discharged in January 1981 after complaining about safety hazards at the Indian Point 2 nuclear reactor will be reinstated with back pay, the company said Friday.

The utility contended that it had dismissed the mechanic, Michael Cotter, an employee for 22 years, because he had threatened his foreman.

A Labor Department judge ruled that Mr. Cotter, 45 years old, of West Hempstead, L.I., had been dismissed for complaining about worker safety violations at the plant. Con Edison appealed the decision to the Secretary of Labor, Raymond J. Donovan, who ruled in Mr. Cotter’s favor, and then to the Federal Court of Appeals, which on Monday upheld the reinstatement and ordered the utility to pay back salary and attorney fees.

The court ruled unanimously that the dismissal violated a section of the Energy Reorganization Act, designed to protect employees who complain about conditions, and that Mr. Cotter had been justified in complaining about safety violations.

Mr. Cotter’s attorney, Arthur Z. Schwartz, said that the back pay would total about $30,000.

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