• Welcome!
    Logout|My Dashboard
  • Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
Locally Owned and
Edited Since 1963
Serving Dublin, Livermore,
Pleasanton and Sunol

The Independent

June 18, 2019

Parties Move To Mediation In LLNL Layoff Lawsuit

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, February 5, 2015 12:00 am

A six-year-old wrongful termination lawsuit by former employees against Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has moved to mediation.

Judge Robert Freedman of Alameda County Superior Court continued the complex lawsuit to allow representatives of the two parties to meet in April with a private mediator. Mediation is not binding but can sometimes lead to agreement and save disputing parties time and money.

The suit stems from the 2008 termination of 430 Laboratory employees at a time when federal budgets were being cut and LLNL faced increased costs and reduced operating budgets due to a new, for-profit management structure dictated by Congress and the Administration.

The change in contract generated rises in health costs, taxes and management fees, contributing to the first large-scale involuntary layoffs at LLNL in more than 30 years. More than 1,000 limited term and contract employees also were let go.

The following year, 130 of the career employees who had been terminated filed suit based on allegations of age discrimination and breach of contract. The employees are represented by the Oakland law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer.

Rather than try all 130 cases individually or in a single group, Judge Freedman chose to try the claims of five administrative employees in two separate trials, one on age discrimination and the other on contract violation.

In 2013, a jury awarded $2.7 million to the five for breach of contract. It found no retaliation against one of them, Elaine Andrews, for whom the suit is named. In a separate trial, a jury found that the Laboratory had not practiced illegal age discrimination.

The next phase of the suit, to try the claims of 10 scientific former employees, was scheduled to take place in May. That will be postponed until after October 1 pending the results of the mediation, Judge Freedman ruled.

The Laboratory insists that in carrying out the layoffs, it followed established policies and procedures that were consistent with federal requirements. It has called the 2008 cutbacks “painful,” necessitated by funding cutbacks.

For their parts, attorneys for the plaintiffs have emphasized the financial and emotional hardship experienced by those who were terminated. They have claimed that the layoffs were carried out “in bad faith” and noted that the one jury verdict rendered to date found for the plaintiffs.

Why Does the Periodic Table Look the Way It Does?

For the 150th anniversary of the periodic table, we thought we'd give you an overview of what ...

Sulmaan Wasif Khan - Haunted by Chaos: China's Grand Strategy From Mao Zedong To Xi Jinping

Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken. Today it is a force on the gl...

William H. Tobey - The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications

In mid-January, a team of scholars from the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science an...

Defense Technologies Engineering Division (DTED)

Defense Technologies Engineering Division (DTED) applies world-class computational and experiment...

Spack: A flexible package manager for HPC software

Spack is a flexible, configurable, Python-based, and open-source HPC package manager. Spack autom...

How Does Skyfall Protect Our Energy Grid from Attack?

Did you know that we need to protect our electricity grid from cyberattacks? How do we research t...

Take a Look Inside the Lab

Welcome to our new video series, the revamped 'Inside the Lab', where we explore all the differen...

DeBiaso - Missile Defense Review—Posture, Capabilities and Trends

This presentation will outline key policy directions and trends of the United States Missile Defe...

Kurtz Phelan - China and the Global Order: From Marshall to Today

n 2019, U.S. policymakers find themselves in a new era where the global order is being questioned...

Wu Riqiang - Merits of Uncertainty

A simplified nuclear exchange model has been developed to evaluate China’s past and current nucle...

Family Night at the Livermore Rodeo

Family Night at the rodeo included activities such as local team roping and wild cow milking, along with a performance by the Diablo Ladies Drill Team. ​(Photos – Doug Jorgensen)