In 1988 Macktal rocked the corporate world when he violated the terms of secret "hush money" settlements in which workers were paid money to hide safety defects from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Macktal's case rendered such agreements illegal under federal whistleblower law.
Joe Macktal was a journeyman electrician who worked for Halliburton Brown & Root (HB&R) building the Comanche Peak nuclear plant. After exposing serious safety defects at the plant, lawyers for HB&R coerced Mr. Macktal into signing a settlement agreement that prohibited him from telling the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about his safety concerns. Macktal complained of the restrictions, but was warned that the powerful corporation would: “follow him to the ends of the earth,” and ruin him financially.
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