SEATTLE -

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a Hanford Nuclear Reservation contractor to reinstate a worker who was fired for voicing concerns about nuclear and environmental safety.

The department said Wednesday it ordered Richland-based Washington River Protection Solutions to also pay $220,000 in back wages and other expenses.

The labor department says the contractor violated federal whistleblower provisions. After firing the contractor, the department says the contractor refused to rehire the environmentalist specialists despite adequate qualifications and previous satisfactory performance reviews.

A spokesman for Washington River Protections Solutions was not aware of the department's reinstatement order and couldn't immediately comment.

The labor department did not name the employee, citing whistleblower policy.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.