Whistle-blower Steve Jones will be returning to his old job at the Tooele Chemical Disposal Facility, even though his employer is pressing on with efforts to keep him out.

EG&G Defense Materials Inc., the company that operates the facility, announced Monday afternoon that it would abide by a federal appeals court ruling requiring it to reinstate Jones with back pay.However, spokesman Mark W. Mesesan said the company isn't dropping its appeal of the Department of Labor order that mandated Jones' reinstatement.

"EG&G's contention is unchanged: that Jones was lawfully terminated from his employment as (the facility's) safety manager in September 1994 for reasons unrelated to any safety concerns he may have expressed during the 9 1/2 weeks he was employed by EG&G," Mesesan said.

The latest twist in the five-year dispute between Jones and EG&G followed a ruling by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that denied EG&G's bid to block the reinstatement and back pay order pending an appeal.

The Department of Labor issued the order last September and reaffirmed it in January, saying he was illegally dismissed because he raised safety concerns about the chemical weapons disposal facility.

EG&G argued it would be impractical to reinstate Jones because of his public statements about the destruction of toxic weapons as well as his role as a witness for the Chemical Weapons Working Group, which is challenging the facility in state and federal courts.

But a Department of Labor review board held that "Jones' participation in a lawsuit concerning the environmental dangers of the disposal facility is exactly the type of activity that the environmental acts protect."

Mesesan said Jones has not yet contacted EG&G about reinstatement. Once he does return, he will find that a lot has changed at the facility and in his job, Mesesan added.

In particular, the facility, which was in the development stage when Jones worked there, is now fully operational. To date, the facility has destroyed 19.3 percent of the chemical agent stockpile at the Deseret Chemical Depot, including 19,660 GB M-55 rockets, 92,336 GB M-360 projectiles, 2,616 GB ton containers and the entire inventory (4,463) of 750-pound bombs.

"He will have to come up to speed on a large number of policies and procedures that have been implemented in the past 4 1/2 years," Mesesan said.

For example, Jones must meet new training requirements related to an operational facility as well as the Army's more rigorous criteria for the position of safety manager.

Mesesan said the amount owed Jones in back pay can't be calculated until Jones provides EG&G with an accounting of how much he's earned in other employment since 1994. The Department of Labor order requires that Jones receive what he would have earned with EG&G minus any other income, plus $50,000 in additional damages.