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Monday, May 26, 2014

Dismissal

What are the common key elements and precursors used to support a "for cause" dismissal plan for a selected LLNS or LANS employee?


80 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since all LANS and LLNS employees are "at will," why would such a plan be necessary?

Anonymous said...

Answer: The "plan" could be used in the attempt to legally shield the employer from a wrongful termination lawsuit. In the case of LLNS, LANS, or other federal contractor, "at will" employment does not mean the contractor is immune from DOE or DOL workplace guidelines or good faith employment practices.


http://www.expertlaw.com/library/employment/at_will.html

"...Wrongful Termination of At Will Employment

Many people are employed "at will", meaning that they don't have a formal employment contract with their employer and state law thus permits their employment to be ended at any time, or that they do have a written contract under which contains an "at will" clause to that same effect. However, even "at will" employees are entitled to certain legal protections against wrongful termination, and cannot be fired for reasons that violate the law or public policy...."

Anonymous said...

Not true certainly at LLNL, many employees are not "at will", though many newer employees are. "At will" is standard in industry and will become standard at the national labs too, but they aren't there yet.

Anonymous said...

"Wrongful termination" does not include firing you because they don't like you, nor does that "violate law or public policy."
May 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM
Anonymous said...
"Wrongful Termination" can include but is not limited to employer:

1. Breach of good faith and fair dealing
2. Violations of public policy
3. Discrimination
4. Retaliation
5. Fraud
6. Defamation
7. Whistle-blowing violations

If the recipe or pattern for lab dismissals is lawful, don't worry about it. It will all come out in the wash as they say.

A "Firing you because they don't like you" reply is irrelevant, and a distraction from the original
5-21-14 8:29am topic which was:

"What are the common key elements and precursors
used to support a "for cause" dismissal plan for a selected LLNS or LANS employee?"

Anonymous said...

In November of 2012 LLNS employment policy was updated to include "at will" and layoff order changes.

I wonder how many UC/LLNL employees would have taken TCP1 if they new these employment "bait and switch" changes were right around the corner.

Anonymous said...

The dismissal elements which LLNS may call out as "poor employee conduct" or "poor performance" are:

1.A "letter of expectation(s)" to the employee from division management and Staff Relations"

2. A "Letter of Warning(s)" from Division management

3. A "5 Day Suspension(s) without pay"

4. The employee is required to disclose and later defend the "letter of warning" and "suspension" to DOE as required for those that hold a Q clearance.

5. Even if DOE accepts your explanation for the "Letter of warning" and "suspension" you can be "dismissed"
without advanced notice and escorted off site. During the dismissal meeting in the Staff Relations office, the employee might be offered a small severance if they are willing to sign an all encompassing legal waiver.

6. Without access to your computer or office documents, the employee will be given an "opportunity" to appeal the dismissal to a nameless faceless dismissal review board (DRB).

7. When the DRB determines the dismissal should stand, an effect termination date will be established

8. If the dismissed employee applies for CA unemployment benefits, LLNS will likely contest your CA unemployment benefit. If the CA unemployment office denies your benefit, you will be forced to appeal the decision before a judge. During the under oath recorded hearing, LLNS may have your senior managers present along with their LLNS Staff Relations attorney.

The precursors to the above may include harassment in the workplace, your assignment responsibilities being removed one by one, a radical change in your PA referenced to prior ones including dropped SKAs,
a skipped draft appraisal meeting, and becoming an EIT or EBA.

Anonymous said...

So how would YOU treat lousy, uncooperative, insubordinate, deadwood employees? Or do you think such people do not exist? What should the policy be? Just askin'.

Anonymous said...

Your questions are reasonable and yes there are times with due process while working with the employee in good faith a dismissal may be appropriate.

There are other times when a dismissal list as described above is used inappropriately for retaliatory purposes. In that case the list above could be defined as "abuse of authority" among other things leading to a DOE Title 10 CFR 708 Contractor Employee Protection complaint.


Anonymous said...

Just "sayin"

Anonymous said...

LLNS employees may have seen a fresh set of DOE 708 posters at LLNS appearing around late February 2014 to early March 2014. Proper placement of these posters is a DOE contractor requirement. LLNS Staff Relations sent an "urgent" notification out to management across the lab to ensure these DOE 708 posters were appropriately placed by C.O.B 3-3-14.

Anonymous said...

May 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

So what? This has been happening for many years. You just noticed? What's the problem?

Anonymous said...

What has been happening for years? Just noticed what?

Anonymous said...

Yah be specific please.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone unsuccessfully attempted to dilute the point of the 5:08pm post.

Anonymous said...

"...So how would YOU treat lousy, uncooperative, insubordinate, deadwood employees? Or do you think such people do not exist? What should the policy be? Just askin'..."

So how would YOU treat self-important open loop managers that repeatedly get away with violating LLNS or DOE employment or other contractor polices? Or do you think such managers do not exist? "Just askin".

Anonymous said...

So how would YOU treat self-important open loop managers that repeatedly get away with violating LLNS or DOE employment or other contractor polices? Or do you think such managers do not exist? "Just askin".

May 26, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Nice try at diversion. You failed to answer the question and implied it is not important because there is ANOTHER question that is more important. Cheap sophomoric debating trick which loses points every time.

Anonymous said...

What has been happening for years? Just noticed what?

May 26, 2014 at 7:29 PM

The DOE 708 posters and their mandatory placement, dumbass.

Anonymous said...

No diversion. Read up. The 11:01am question was answered at 11:53am. Nice try at protecting the brotherhood of LLNS managers but you failed. I know, its tough not being the judge and jury for all lab matters. Welcome to the 21st century where there are multiple outlets for viewpoints other than yours.

Anonymous said...

Nice try at protecting the brotherhood of LLNS managers but you failed.

May 26, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Really? The LLNS managers are vulnerable and unprotected? HaHaHaHa! You want vulnerable and unprotected, look in a mirror.

Anonymous said...

A LLNS dismissal that was preventable and correctable on multiple occasions over 12 months

The 3-26-14 9:36am post tracks with what happened to me with additional circumstances. I was a LLNL FTE employee for nearly 30 years with very good PAs and eventually became a 339.2 Engineering Associate. In the Fall of 2012, I filed 2 in series formal grievances with the LLNS Staff Relations Division. Both grievances were accepted and eventually the Director appointed an “independent party” reviewer to investigate the grievances. In coordination with Staff Relations and prior to the start of her investigation, this “independent party” backed out of her investigation role on the grounds that her “neutrality” was compromised. The only LLNS written guidelines for a Director appointed reviewer and the associated grievance process is that the reviewer not be related to either party or connected to the program in question. Selection of a 2nd Director appointed “independent party” reviewer from the pool was denied. Shortly thereafter, many of the issues raised in my 2 grievances, scheduled to be addressed by the Director appointed reviewer, were instead used as a foundation for a 5 day suspension without pay. My appeal to the pending suspension was reviewed by the same managers recommending the suspension, and my appeal was denied.

In March of 2013 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and in April of 2013 she had a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment. My wife has muscular dystrophy with four limb weakness. Since her baseline energy was already low because of her muscular dystrophy, I requested and received an approved FMLA through December 31st, 2013 to help her as needed to and from her medical appointments and with specific home needs. My approved FMLA or concern for my spouse’s condition did not stop additional LLNS actions. In September of 2013, I was “dismissed” pending a Dismissal Review Board (DRB) decision. I was not allowed to face my accusers and composition of the DRB and their review material were kept secret. I was formally dismissed in October 2013.

LLNS contested my CA unemployment benefit based on “poor employee conduct”. Therefore my CA unemployment benefit was initially denied. I appealed the decision. Representing myself, I appeared before the CA unemployment benefit appeals Judge. Representing the LLNS side were my 2 former engineering division level managers and their Staff Relations attorney.

On 1-30-14 the unemployment benefit appeals Judge reversed the earlier decision and stated:

“…The employer has not sustained its burden to show that the claimant’s conduct was willful or wanton under the circumstances and therefore has not shown misconduct. Accordingly, the employer discharged the claimant for reasons other than misconduct and the claimant is not disqualified for benefits under code section 1256…”

In January of 2014, I filed a DOE Title 10 CFR 708 Contractor Employee Protection complaint against LLNS.

On 2-4-14, the NNSA Albuquerque Office informed Acting Director Knapp of my 708 complaint alleging fraud, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, and retaliation.

On 2-21-14, LLNS Staff Relations wrote to the NNSA Albuquerque Office and claimed my complaint lacked merit and requested my complaint be dismissed. The LLNS request was denied, and on 3-10-14 my complaint was accepted by DOE. An investigation and hearing will follow.

About 35 reference documents were sent with my DOE 708 complaint against LLNS. My complaint concerns include actions and inactions of Engineering Management, Staff Relations, and Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Events within my complaint map well to the NNSA Livermore Field Office “FY 2013 Performance Evaluation Report” period of review. I was dismissed months before the “FY 2013 Performance Evaluation Report” was released.

Anonymous said...

Done playing victim yet? Good. Feel better now? What is the point of your anonymity?

Anonymous said...

"BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA..."

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.

Anonymous person asks..."What is the point of your anonymity?"

Anonymous said...

Court proceedings are public. The poster blew his own anonymity and then signed "anonymous." Maintaining plausible deniability, I guess.

Anonymous said...

No need for poster to reveal his name (wife mentioned) or specific LLNS managers in question in this forum. If the DOE 708 complaint was filed and accepted based on the evidence submitted, what difference would it make to name the involved parties to the DOE complaint in this forum? Would name disclosure legitimize or invalidate the complaint material? LLNS is acutely aware of the parties to the complaint and the events described. Yes the DOE 708 proceedings will make public certain names as required.

Anonymous said...

Done playing victim yet? Good. Feel better now? What is the point of your anonymity?

What the heck is your problem? The poster provided a well-articulated description of his situation and how he has been treated by the Laboratory. You respond with an anal remark.

There are people at the Laboratory, both regular employees and managers, who deserve to be terminated due to inadequate skills or substandard performance. There are also people at the Laboratory who are treated inappropriately by a negligent, incompetent, and out of control management system. This is the same management that carries huge overhead costs and adds essentially no value to programmatic work. No, constant reorganizations and regurgitated VG's with fancy but meaningless buzzwords are not valuable.

To the earlier poster ... I hope you keep people updated about your situation.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the person filing this DOE 708 complaint has not released the names of the LLNS managers responsible for his work environment or employment dismissal.

If this person received a suspension etc., you can bet every manager or prospect for future employment at LLNS was made aware of these disciplinary actions making him unattractive for employment.

Basically his reputation was slandered as his CA unemployment benefit appeal verdict has shown. Future outside employment as a 50 something(?) with this "dismissal" stigma is not so good.

Why not flush out the LLNS responsible managers independent of the DOE 708 process result?

Anonymous said...

Why not flush out the LLNS responsible managers independent of the DOE 708 process result?

May 28, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Who are you thinking should care enough to do this??

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the poster above for relaying the situation he's been going through.

I found it useful to compare with other similar situations I'm aware of.

I don't understand what the current management feels they gain by treating employees like this. Their current approach seems to be predicated on a calculated bet that no one takes them to an impartial venue for a hearing on actual facts. Seems this strategy will eventually end in a series of major loses in court.

Anonymous said...


Do you think LLNS Staff Relations wants us to care or forget about this?

We could "ask the director" for an overview on the matter as it relates to "Integrity and responsible stewardship of the public trust" and "Treating each other with dignity". An accepted DOE 708 complaint by definition lends itself to multilayer or systemic problems unresolved within the contractor worksite.

Anonymous said...

A related link from Monday, April 21, 2014:

DOE 708 "employee protection" posters

Why do we have DOE 708 "employee protection" posters at LLNS everywhere starting in early March 2014?


Anonymous said...

A DOE/NNSA directive, of course. Why else?

Anonymous said...

Yes a DOE directive for 20 years, but is the flurry of new 708 posters connected to this recent DOE 708 complaint?

Anonymous said...

"...Seems this strategy will eventually end in a series of major loses in court..."

Yes I agree, but who pays for the LLNS court costs, attorney fees etc. up to a decision that is perhaps years down the road? Who pays for the awards? Are managers held directly accountable for their actions? Are they reprimanded? These seem like very long term and weak feedback loops for the contractor to worry about in the short term.

The only viable short term feedback loop would seem to be a reassessment of the annual NNSA performance review and a reduction in the award/fee paid to the contractor.

The employee or former employee will not have such financial resources at his disposal, or a team of retained attorneys, or easy access to files or data.

Anonymous said...

but is the flurry of new 708 posters connected to this recent DOE 708 complaint?

May 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM

What difference would it make to anything? And why do you care? Get a life.

Anonymous said...

"What difference would it make to anything? And why do you care? Get a life."

LLNS may not have been in full compliance with the posting requirements at the time the 708 complaint occurred.

People on this blog do not require your approval to table a question. Attempting to put them down makes you come across as immature and a guardian of the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.

Anonymous person asks..."What is the point of your anonymity?"

May 28, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Priceless! :)

Anonymous said...

Perfectly reasonable question, since the poster had just revealed some very personal and private details of his life and then signed "Anonymous." Seems a little curious.

Anonymous said...

If the poster's wife was recovering from breast cancer and he was suddenly dismissed, on top of the dismissal itself, he would have had to scramble to ensure he had medical coverage for an "existing condition" to cover her follow up cancer treatment and care.

What a statement this makes on how LLNS management treat our own and a mark of disgrace to the LLNS sponsored "Daffodil Days" program. We have many caring and generous employees that over the years supported this valuable program in good faith.

Anonymous said...

You should read up on Obamacare. One of the few things it got right was the "preexisting condition" prohibition.

Anonymous said...

"You should read up on Obamacare. One of the few things it got right was the "preexisting condition" prohibition."

Cancer patients need a network of support including family, friends, and the expectation of continuity and stability in their familiar medical plan as they go through a very stressful period in their life.

A cold pointer to "Obamacare" in such a circumstance is something I hope your wife, sister, or mother never have to face. Truly.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing "cold" about the Obamacare reference. It was a response to a hypothetical ("If the poster's wife was recovering from breast cancer..."), and simply pointed out that the hypothetical situation would not be as bleak as the poster supposed. But it is clear you are not in a position to be dispassionate about the issue.

Anonymous said...

I was the May 27, 2014 at 10:01 am poster.

There might be doubt as to the existence of my accepted DOE 708 complaint. If you wish to have confirmation of my accepted DOE 708 complaint, or if you yourself are having comparable employment concerns, you may contact the NNSA Employee Concerns Program (ECP) at . I would request anonymity for your DOE 708 confirmation inquiry. The NNSA Livermore ECP Manager is a professional and easy to talk to.

A DOE 708 complaint is within the ECP managers process domain and is linked to the "Worker Protection for DOE Contractor Employees" posters you see around LLNS.

The NNSA Livermore ECP manager knows how to reach me if needed. Since the NNSA Livermore ECP website is designed to inform employees of this resource, I think confirmation of a successfully processed DOE 708 complaint, without naming the employee or managers involved, would add employee resource creditability (not that it is needed) to the ECP program's utility within the complex. It may encourage employees that otherwise might be afraid to come forward with their own concerns.

The set of employee concerns are described in the above ECP web link, in the "Worker Protection for DOE Contractor Employees" posters, and at the DOE 708 website at .

I appreciate the kind thoughts offered in this forum.

Anonymous said...

Lost links:

http://nnsa.energy.gov/fieldoffices/livermore/ecp

http://energy.gov/oha/part-708-doe-contractor-employee-protection-program

Anonymous said...

".. But it is clear you are not in a position to be dispassionate about the issue..."

This appears to be a case of "wrongful termination" as described by the CA Unemployment Appeals Judge statement, "the employer discharged the claimant for reasons other than misconduct."

In this context, to strictly focus on an alternate medical coverage of unknown quality or immediate availability, while navigating around the hardship described, is a "dispassionate" statement on the employer/employee circumstances described? Nice attempt at PR downplaying.

Anonymous said...

The comment had nothing to do with the "employer/employee circumstances described," but only the hypothetical issue raised about the need to find health coverage for a "preexisting condition." Lots of sensitive hot buttons around here...

Anonymous said...

Where is the LLNS Public Relations response to this DOE 708 complaint? Maybe KTVU should send a reporter out.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hate to break it to you, but NO ONE CARES about LLNL or the plight of its employees. Who got murdered in SF last night is all people want to watch on the local news.

Anonymous said...

Management should be liable to the taxpayers for all training and security clearance costs related to a wrongfully dismissed employee.

Anonymous said...

"...Well, I hate to break it to you, but NO ONE CARES about LLNL or the plight of its employees..."

I'm not so sure. I think it is reasonable for Livermore residents or close lab neighbors to expect a system of checks and balances that have not broken down, where employees bringing forward any issue (safety, environment, negligence, etc.) are responded to in good faith. It is a matter of retaining or earning the public trust. The "plight of an employee" might be perceived by the public as an indicator of how other concerns are dealt with. This is bad news that the Director should be proactive about resolving.

Anonymous said...

I think it is reasonable for Livermore residents or close lab neighbors to expect a system of checks and balances that have not broken down...

May 31, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Yes, it would be entirely reasonable for them to do so. But they don't. Not unreasonable, just counter to your expectations.

Anonymous said...

"...Management should be liable to the taxpayers for all training and security clearance costs related to a wrongfully dismissed employee..."

The multi-decade knowledge of that employee is lost too, not to mention his annual salary for X more years, impact to the growth of his 401k retirement savings, and slashed pension if he was TCP1 and too young.

"Thank you for interviewing with our company Mr. ______, so tell us why did you leave your last job?"

Got to wonder if the experience level and judgement of the new Staff Relations team was a contributing factor in this but they might have just been following corporate level instructions.

Anonymous said...

"...Yes, it would be entirely reasonable for them to do so. But they don't. Not unreasonable, just counter to your expectations..."

You said, "but they don't" as an absolute. My apologies to you. Clearly you have walked the streets of Livermore going door to door to conduct a "Do you care about LLNS issues" survey over the last few days. I yield to your data base of results.

If you have not conducted such a survey, perhaps your opinion or hope, will be correct, but it is too early to tell just yet.

Anonymous said...

Too early to tell??? LLNL has been there for over 60 years, right?

Anonymous said...

Yes and zero concerns from the community have been brought forward? That's a great record indeed.

Anonymous said...

The record is great, if by "great" you mean indicative of complete indifference to the lab. Except of course for the concerns about pollution, which have indeed been "brought forward."

Anonymous said...

"...The record is great, if by "great" you mean indicative of complete indifference to the lab. Except of course for the concerns about pollution, which have indeed been "brought forward."..."

In the case of your pollution reference, the lab is not the sole source for tracking or reporting air or water sampling yes?

Anonymous said...

Livermore used to be a lab town, but not anymore. There are still a lot of residents associated in some way with the lab, but the lab has been shrinking for 20 years while the city has been growing, so one can do the math.

Anonymous said...

Since the early 1990s, LLNL has come under increased scrutiny from the state, county, and local agencies for air and water concerns, but so had other comparable facilities.

Anonymous said...

The public doesn't care about terminations (wrongful or otherwise) of overpaid workers in a lackluster facility with no real mission. Face it. The pay rates are bloated across all job categories for Livermorons.

Anonymous said...

June 1, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!

Anonymous said...

It looks like the "nobody cares" person is back. Apparently LLNS Staff Relations and the involved LLNS managers thought this was a non-issue too. However, based on the preponderance of evidence, the DOE investigation is happening.

Anonymous said...

the DOE investigation is happening.

June 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Well, that'll fix everything!!!

Anonymous said...

DOE can come in and kick the dog but it's a dying dog. Not like it's the apple or Google engaging in bad behavior. Sure DOE needs to come in and do its work. But whatever happens wont go viral unless there are real dead bodies or something salacious like necrophilia going on, it won't make the front page.

Anonymous said...

"...Sure DOE needs to come in and do its work..."

Ding Ding Ding!

I don't think LLNS, well, I don't think LLNL is going away anytime soon. Even if they were, it doesn't give the "dog" as you say impunity to "bite" its employees
if the allegations prove to be factual.

Claims that the public doesn't care because it isn't Apple or Google and it didn't "go viral", probably won't make for a good Staff Relations defense strategy when DOE steps in. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people here dancing and singing because they just hit the giant with a peashooter. Just wait...

Anonymous said...

Just remember, "one soldier dying is a tragedy, but one million dying a statistic"

The lab downsizing is just a statistic, but over the hill hanger on's being let go a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

"...The lab downsizing is just a statistic, but over the hill hanger on's being let go a tragedy..."

Downsizing and layoffs vs. wrongful termination are an apples and oranges comparison.

Anonymous said...

"...Lots of people here dancing and singing because they just hit the giant with a peashooter. Just wait..."

Just wait for what? The "peashooter vs giant" analogy is only a snapshot. The dismissed employee has faced a significant and continuing hardship. I don't think he or his family are dancing or singing at this point.

Anonymous said...

Should the LLNS Director offer his perspective on this matter or leave it to Staff Relations to address (again)? Nobody said being in leadership position was easy. It looks like the Director inherited this but that is beside the point.

Anonymous said...

I imagine that the Director would be strongly advised by his lawyers and by the LLNS board NOT to make any comment - it is a case of ongoing investigation and potential litigation. He would be a fool to say anything now, beyond "we are fully cooperating..."

Anonymous said...

I imagine that the Director would be strongly advised by his lawyers and by the LLNS board NOT to make any comment - it is a case of ongoing investigation and potential litigation. He would be a fool to say anything now, beyond "we are fully cooperating..."

Anonymous said...

"...it is a case of ongoing investigation and potential litigation..."

As are many many LLNS issues at the executive level.

Anonymous said...

Unless there is an update, the 2-21-14 Staff Relations position on the DOE 708 complaint by default IS the LLNS position including that of the Director. Inherited or not, unfortunate or not.

Anonymous said...

the 2-21-14 Staff Relations position on the DOE 708 complaint by default IS the LLNS position including that of the Director. Inherited or not, unfortunate or not.

June 2, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Wrong. The LLNS position is that stated in private to the DOE investigations team. It will never be revealed to the public. Personnel matter, you see.

Anonymous said...

"we are fully cooperating"

What does this mean exactly and is the NNSA Livermore Field Office staying out of this or standing by LLNS? If this complaint sticks, will it mean a partial rewrite (SHRM elements, etc.) of the FY2013 LLNS Performance Report?

Anonymous said...

"...Wrong. The LLNS position is that stated in private to the DOE investigations team. It will never be revealed to the public. Personnel matter, you see..."

Never revealed to the public?

Sounds noble, except a LLNS suspension and the like are internally broadcast, not private in any sense of the word, and are equivalent to a LLNS employee tattoo saying "don't hire me ".

The LLNS dismissal declaration in whatever form it came, will also have a very public (non-private) impact to this guy too as he looks elsewhere for work and elects not to lie about his dismissal.

Other than these qualifiers, your point may be factual, but as a practical matter it is moot.

Anonymous said...

We are talking about the details of the DOE investigation, not the original personnel action. That report will be buried deep, as they always are. The end result will be known, but the means of getting there, not.

Anonymous said...

What does “..we (contractor) are fully cooperating”…really mean? “NNSA Livermore Field Office staying out or standing by LLNS”? Are these valid questions? Go to the link below for a year 2000 review of this program. Is the review ancient history, or does it have relevance to today?

WHISTLEBLOWERS AT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FACILITIES: IS THERE REALLY ``ZERO TOLERANCE'' FOR CONTRACTOR RETALIATION?

(A few year 2000 concerns listed)

Even if the contractor realizes that it is culpable, it may decide to wait to settle the claim until the last possible minute before an adverse decision is rendered that might prevent the contractor from recovering its legal fees from the DOE. The advantage to the contractor using this strategy is multi-faceted:

-the complainant is not at work during the period of the pendency of the legal action, and the contractor may reason that it has successfully removed a ``troublemaker'' who was raising inconvenient safety or health issues;

-the absence of the complainant during the years of litigation sends a powerful message to the rest of the work force that those who raise concerns will face termination and a lengthy period of costly and stressful litigation--it is a deterrent to
other employees to not raise health and safety issues; in many instances, the contractor may actually profit from the expenditure of litigation funds by adding on a ``cost-plus'' adder on expenditures (the more you spend, the more you make);

-for the DOE to indemnify the contractor's legal fees in some cases actually facilitates and encourages reprisals and lengthy legal battles by subsidizing contractor malfeasance. This alone flies in the face of the Departmental policy on ``zero tolerance for reprisal'' against whistleblowers.

Other concerns:

- The judge in Mr. _____’s suit found it incredulous that DOE would claim a joint defense privilege and agreed. How can DOE be both the independent enforcer of zero tolerance and also a willing codefendant?

-The Department of Energy continues to reimburse its contractors for the legal fees and other expenses involved in beating down the whistleblowers. Its lawyers strategizes, we have heard, with the contractors' lawyers and create these joint defense agreements.

- When a contractor knows the Department is on its side, financially and otherwise, the contractor is encouraged to continue to retaliate against all whistleblowers.

- the Federal judge in that case determined that the DOE ``Acted arbitrary and capriciously in denying the testimony of DOE employees'' sought by Mr. ____ to
prove his case and ordered DOE to make these individuals available at once.
- the contractor has all the time and taxpayer-funded legal help it needs to slow down, wear down a whistleblower and the limited resources of a whistleblower.

- the relationship between DOE and its contractors is a close one. In many cases, the contractor receives full cooperation, strategic coordination from DOE to fight the
whistleblowers.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-106hhrg64767/html/CHRG-106hhrg64767.htm

One would hope this year 2000 document is not relevant to today and there are those sincerely committed to the viability and impartiality of the 2014 DOE 708 employee protection program.

Anonymous said...

Are managers at DOE Contractor facilities ever held directly accountable in these 708 complaints?

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