Edison Whistleblowers May Face Retaliation

By Published On: March 14, 2008

Southern California Edison employees complained that they are punished by their bosses if they raise concerns about violating California Public Utilities Commission policies or rulings. The Division of Ratepayer Advocates raised the whistleblower retaliation claims March 3. In a letter to Edison’s chief executive officer Al Fohrer, Division of Ratepayer Advocates director Dana Appling and division director Richard Clark stated, “We are writing this letter to inform Edison that we take allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers very seriously.” They stated they will take needed action to protect against regulated utilities retaliating “against employees who inform a utility, or the Commission and its staff of alleged violations against Commission decisions, policies or of utility rules or ethics,” Edison spokesperson Gil Alexander stated the company’s “ethics and compliance investigators have thoroughly reviewed the concerns and, thus far, can find no basis.” A 2007 employee assessment by Edison chief ethics officer Ken Stewart concluded, “Employee perception of possible retaliation if they ‘blow the whistle’ is higher than we want.” But, when pressed for specific examples he asserted workers reported few examples. Alexander said two employees working on an Information Technology product were suspected of contacting the Division of Ratepayer Advocates.

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