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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. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dismissal case update

My September 2013 dismissal from LLNS Update

In the attempt to resolve concerns with LLNS while employed at LLNS, I requested meetings with the Director long before and after the 2013 DRB decision to dismiss me. The Director declined my offers.

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. LLNS management and I provided the Judge with supporting documentation and under oath and audio recorded testimony which I have a copy of. 

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…”

I filed a DOE 708 complaint against LLNS in January 2014. In response to my complaint, LLNS sent a letter and their support documentation to DOE/NNSA and requested its dismissal in February of 2014. Receiving documentation from both parties, DOE/NNSA accepted my 708 complaint in March 2014. I selected the "investigation followed by a hearing" option. 

After DOE/NNSA accepted my 708 case in March of 2014, I twice offered the Director of LLNS a DOE/NNSA encouraged “informal resolution” to be completely reinstated at LLNS. The informal resolution would have ended the formal DOE OHA investigation followed by a hearing, but my offer was refused in both instances.

My DOE case was dismissed in September of 2014 without a hearing. I appealed the decision to the DOE OHA Director in October of 2014. I may receive a response to my appeal in 30-60 days. 

I believe my case has strong past and present similarities to other DOE "whistleblower" cases. As such, I have asked Tim Murphy, Congressman (PA), Chairman of Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to determine if material corrections, in his view, have occurred with DOE and the NNSA in response to the Subcommittee’s year 2000 concerns regarding the purported “whistleblower” worker protection/non-retaliation program at DOE facilities Additionally, I have asked the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to review the present DOE “Whistleblower” retaliation policy, and if needed, request prompt and measurable actions from DOE/NNSA to address new or chronic problems or material weaknesses identified. 

I wrote to Norman J. Pattiz, Chair of the Committee on Oversight of the DOE Energy Labs, and to Janet Napolitano, University of California President, requesting they investigate, review, and revise the LLNS Dismissal Review Board (DRB) policy and practices at LLNS under the authority defined in University of California “Bylaw 12.6 a-d Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories”. 

On 11-12-14, I was informed by the UC Regents General Counsel that Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein was asked to review and respond to the questions raised in my 11-3-14 memorandum to the UC Regents. 

Applicable to both DOE and LLNS policies and practices, there is a distinction between the merits of a process and the merits of an outcome built on that process. I have requested process review and provided detailed justification to do so.

105 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...On 11-12-14, I was informed by the UC Regents General Counsel that Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein was asked to review and respond to the questions raised in my 11-3-14 memorandum to the UC Regents..."

It will be interesting to see if LLNS Director Bill Goldstein actually responds as requested by the UC Regents, or if that request is handed off to LLNS Staff Relations as is usually the case. It is unlikely the LLNS Director will place himself in an ownership position on such a matter, independent of what HE (not LLNS Staff Relations) proclaims our LLNS employee values should be or are.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update.

Anonymous said...

Would you, September - dismissed from the Lab, like to be represented by a super lawyer? If your case is accepted by this lawyer, I bet 99.9 % you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

"...Thank you for the update..."

Your welcome.

Anonymous said...

I have been a slug my whole life and I lived amongst the slugs. I got caught for being the worst non producing slug now I want compensation. It's not my fault they created me. Now I will be a burden to society the rest of my life.

Hey dip sh#$ go back to the fetal position at the end of the hall!

POS

Anonymous said...

POS shows its true colors ---it's a LANSLLNS manager!

Anonymous said...

POS dearest, it is you who should curl up at the end of the hall.
Updater, I hope you will be reinstated. Knowing Goldstein, I have little hope for your case. Goldstein is another lousy manager. Staff Relations will write the response/findings. ..Goldstein will sign it without knowing what it means.
It is not too early to contact a very good employment lawyer. If you like, I can refer a super good one for you.

Anonymous said...

"...Goldstein, I have little hope for your case. Goldstein is another lousy manager. Staff Relations will write the response/findings. ..Goldstein will sign it without knowing what it means..."

Empty signatures are meant to conform to written LANSLLNS policy and to portray objective review or check and balances in the system.

Essentially if a LANSLLNS employee's immediate managers aren't actively supporting him in career decisions in good faith, the employee is eventually toast and ends up on a Staff Relations conveyor belt to unemployment.

The secret DRB process is not defined in the LANSLLNS employee grievance policy, and appears to be a management trump card with no outside witnesses including the dismissed employee.

LANSLLNS may have missed a number of occasions to address this problem "at the lowest level" possible, instead of the obvious public escalation we now have.

If and when his identity is released through the DOE contractor employee complaint process, will he be an unknown to coworkers or to the public, or will this be another uncomfortable disclosure for LANSLLNS?

I doubt either party to this DOE complaint are doing much "laughing" at this point.


Anonymous said...

"...If and when his identity is released through the DOE contractor employee complaint process, will he be an unknown to coworkers or to the public, or will this be another uncomfortable disclosure for LANSLLNS?..."

Do we think this former LLNS employee has a publicly known objection to some aspect of Lab operations?

Anonymous said...

Do we think this former LLNS employee has a publicly known objection to some aspect of Lab operations?

November 19, 2014 at 5:27 PM

You're asking a blog populated by people you don't now what "we" think?? Great. Nothing like individual thought and responsibility.

"Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”"

Anonymous said...

OK. Does this person think? Feel better now?

Anonymous said...

"...You're asking a blog populated by people you don't now what "we" think?? ..."

As if one would never use the word "we" to ask a question in a group of people they don't know (blog, meeting, etc.) after a topic is tabled and commented on. Truly outrageous, or just one way to raise a question to the larger group? Whatever is necessary to invalidate the question I guess.

Anonymous said...

Whatever is necessary to invalidate the question I guess.

November 19, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Nope. Just to invalidate the person asking the question.

Anonymous said...

"...Nope. Just to invalidate the person asking the question..."

Abrasive, but whatever floats your LANSLLNS boat.

Anonymous said...

"A message from LLNL Director Bill Goldstein"

LLNL Director Bill Goldstein offered some very kind words for Bret Knapp including his contributions to LLNL and LANL for a combined total of some 3+ decades of service. This type of positive acknowledgement is important to his friends and family, just as it would have been to Bret, and his family and friends had Bret simply retired in good health.

ALL lab employees, not just our senior leaders, providing decades of service to LLNL or LANL should be treated with the same respect, dignity, and acknowledgment, for their life long contributions to these two laboratories. When this fails to happen, it doesn't go unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

I received a letter from LLNS Staff Relations today regarding my correspondence to the University of California President Janet Napolitano and UC Regent Norman J. Pattiz relating to the LLNS DRB and my dismissal.

This is the UC relevant paragraph from the LLNS Staff Relations letter today:

"...As you are aware, individuals employed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have not been employees of the University of California since 2007. Therefore, the University of California is not in a position to direct specific personnel activities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nor to review or overturn specific employment actions at the Laboratory..."

I should note, I never used the word "overturn" with UC. I did request a Regents review of the DRB process and related employment practices at LLNS.



http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/governance/bylaws/bl12.html#bl12.6

UC Regents

Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories Responsibilities: see Bylaw 12.6

12.6 Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories.

The Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories shall:

A. Consider and report to the Board, or to appropriate Committees of the Board, on matters concerning relations with the United States Department of Energy and matters relating to the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.

B. Act in an advisory capacity to the President of the University with respect to appointments of the Director and Deputy Director of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and to the President of the University and the Chairman of the Board with respect to appointments to the University positions on the Executive Committee of the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.

C. Consider reports relating to:
1. the management of the Laboratories;

2. the scientific and technical quality of all work
undertaken at the Laboratories;

3. the appointment and retention of Laboratory
personnel of the highest competence;

4. the health and safety of the public and
Laboratory employees and the
maintenance of environmental quality;

5. interaction among the Laboratories, the
campuses and the larger scientific
community; and

6. the quality of Laboratory communication with
the public concerning all Laboratory work.

D. Report periodically to the Board concerning the oversight functions described in (c) above.

Anonymous said...

The UC Regents Bylaw 12.6 as presented is encompassing in nature, with no areas of lab oversight explicitly excluded or implied excluded. Does the UC Regents subscribe to the LLNS interpretation of UC Regents oversight?

Anonymous said...

'LLNS contested my CA unemployment benefit based on “poor employee conduct”'

From the outside it looks like LLNS Staff Relations' conduct pretty much stinks. Would it have killed them to allow the terminated employee to get CA unemployment benefits ?

Really ? Are they that low ?

Anonymous said...

SR reports the truth (according to them) to the state. The state acts on it. In most states, fired (terminated for cause) employees are not eligible for unemployment.

Anonymous said...

"...SR reports the truth (according to them) to the state. The state acts on it. In most states, fired (terminated for cause) employees are not eligible for unemployment..."

You are correct. Had the dismissed LLNS employee
not appealed the initial CA unemployment decision and waived his opportunity to cross examine the LLNS position in a hearing forum, the CA unemployment benefit would have been denied based on the alleged LLNS "for cause" dismissal argument. Apparently, LLNS failed to adequately support their argument in the hearing.

Anonymous said...

"... Would it have killed them to allow the terminated employee to get CA unemployment benefits ? Really ? Are they that low?..."

Unless challenged by the former employee, the LLNS unemployment "reserve account" will not be charged if an employee is discharged for purported "misconduct" based on CA unemployment insurance code.

Anonymous said...

If true, LLNL Director Bill Goldstein upon receiving a request by the UC Regents to respond to the specific allegations presented by the former LLNS employee, has elected to "punt" his Director level responsibilities to his Staff Relations defense team. This decision may only offer short term relief since it appears other outside groups (UC Regents/Congress) are being asked to intervene and examine the situation.

Anonymous said...

If true, LLNL Director Bill Goldstein upon receiving a request by the UC Regents to respond to the specific allegations presented by the former LLNS employee, has elected to "punt" his Director level responsibilities to his Staff Relations defense team.

November 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Oh come on. If Goldstein had agreed to respond personally, he would only be repeating verbatim what Staff Relations told him to say, since he has no way to have personal knowledge of the case. You obviously don't understand how hierarchical bureaucracies work.

Anonymous said...

Goldstein was asked to directly respond by the Regents, his subordinate Staff Relations team were not. The "I have nor do I wish to have knowledge of the case" argument only serves as plausible deniability, otherwise Goldstein would have just parroted the SR reasoning himself in the attempt to respond to the Regents as requested. Spare us from your "hierarchical bureaucracy" excuse for passing the buck.

Anonymous said...

November 24, 2014 at 5:52 PM

You are an imbecile who is only looking for an excuse for a public hanging. You are ignorant about how the world actually works. Hint: it's not the way you wish it worked. Get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

Public hanging who? Goldstein? Well, he tried to hang me, in a semi-public hanging.
Good thing EDD appeal board agreed with me and LLNL coughed up my unemployment benefits. It is Goldstein who is imbecile, as well as Staff Relations. They are experts in lying.

Anonymous said...

LLNS can easily mislead or confuse the EDD or other outside agencies by adding unrelated "for cause" termination excuse "boiler plate" to slander your credibility, such as the 7 items listed below:

1. Striking another employee
2. Using threatening or abusive language
3. Behaving indecently or immorally
4. Being insubordinate to proper authority
5. Performing sabotage or malicious mischief
6. Sexual harassment
7. Misconduct in research

For example, if you question a LLNS management policy, practice, or conduct, LLNS will allege item 4 "insubordinate to proper authority", without qualification, AND will place all 6 remaining and completely unrelated items above in LLNS paperwork sent to inquiring outside agencies for maximum spin and damage to the terminated employee. The employee is left to defend off and explain such a tally of irrelevant boiler plate items going forward.

Example: You mistakenly overdraw your own checking account by $17, and your crafty Credit Union X classifies YOUR action with their list of unacceptable customer actions including bank robbery, credit fraud,
and identity theft. Good luck reestablishing your financial credit.

Anonymous said...

"It is Goldstein who is (an)imbecile, as well as Staff Relations. They are experts in lying."

Very sad state of affairs, if true, at the Lab (my former employer of over 32 years).

Anonymous said...

LLNL under LLNS management is an open loop disaster from an employee perspective. Be glad your 32 years are past ones not forward ones.

Anonymous said...

Look at the head of Staff Relations. She got promoted after goofing off big time. Goldstein signed all documents SR drafted without looking at it.
Be very careful with your "bosses."
Document all, I mean all, and take them home daily. Contest any accusation, complain, from bosses, coworker etc...in writing immediately and keep a record of all. These can save your neck later.


Anonymous said...

November 25, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Great advice for an incompetent insubordinate loser who is looking forward to litigation instead of a rewarding career. Please don't comment that no one enjoys a rewarding career at LLNS/LLNL. You know that's not true, and you know that's not you.

Anonymous said...

You are simply wrong. LANSLLNS employees don't look forward to litigation anymore than you or your neighbor look forward to the next mud slide or earthquake even though you may prepare for them. You are delusional if you think employee morale here is not at an all time low. Stop waiving your "rewarding career" pom poms for a second and think it through.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your clear and fair assessment. I bet none of LLNS worker bees, past or present, had any intention to get a lawyer at any time in their entire careers; until their personal files begin to migrate to Staff Relations. By then , it is difficult to put together their own files if they do not have them saved. I witnessed my immediate supervisor lied about me with straight face. Head of Staff Relations invented charges against me. Division leader concocted stories to slander me. Thanks Good ness, I took advises from a retiree many years ago. I documented and kept all paper work. I was able to show the ugly face of the LLNS management.

Anonymous said...

"...Look at the head of Staff Relations. She got promoted after goofing off big time..."

How so?

Anonymous said...

I took advises from a retiree many years ago. I documented and kept all paper work.

November 25, 2014 at 11:42 PM

You don't "gather evidence" unless you are convinced that a crime has been, or will be, committed. It sounds like you had the attitude of a suspicious malcontent from the beginning. Looks like a self-fulfilling prophesy to me.

Anonymous said...

"...You don't "gather evidence" unless you are convinced that a crime has been, or will be, committed. It sounds like you had the attitude of a suspicious malcontent from the beginning. Looks like a self-fulfilling prophesy to me..."

Wrong again. This person is attempting to communicate the situation as best he or she can and you are unsuccessfully attempting to spin it to discredit the situation. Clearly your are just a political hack for LLNS Staff Relations.

Anonymous said...

The Staff Relations team has more "diversity" now than in the early Bob P. days. I support a diverse workforce, but do you think the current batch of SR managers recognize for one second the employees before them that made sacrifices to promote diversity here and paid the political and career price for doing so? Clearly their Staff Relations recruitment and subsequent promotions had nothing to do with diversity right?

Anonymous said...

You don't "gather evidence" unless you are convinced that a crime has been, or will be, committed. It sounds like you had the attitude of a suspicious malcontent from the beginning. Looks like a self-fulfilling prophesy to me.

November 26, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Your ignorance is breathtaking. Everyone at the lab or any other workplace should always keep records and have anything in writing. This is the only way to protect yourself. This has nothing to do with paranoia, but just with the fact the wolrd functions.

The lab does the same thing.

Anonymous said...

"...Your ignorance is breathtaking. Everyone at the lab or any other workplace should always keep records and have anything in writing. This is the only way to protect yourself. This has nothing to do with paranoia, but just with the fact the wolrd functions..."

Well said.

Anonymous said...

" "...Your ignorance is breathtaking. Everyone at the lab or any other workplace should always keep records and have anything in writing. This is the only way to protect yourself. This has nothing to do with paranoia, but just with the fact the wolrd functions..."

Well said.

November 26, 2014 at 4:14 PM"

You are very sad people. You do not have to be paranoid and record everything. All you have to do is just keep your Goddam head down and you yapping mouth shut. Remember to stay out of sight and out of mind. They key is not have a security incident and do not have a safety issue. If you avoid these than you are golden. You can have good life at the labs where you do not have to work too hard or very often. In this way the managers get their bonuses and you get paid well for stress free job but only if you play your cards right. Look around you and ask yourself this simple question, who are the ones that get in trouble? It is always the people that raise issues, that think they are doing something special, question the system, and complain about management. These are precisely the people that system does not want and will purge. This can be a great place but all you have to do is STFU. If you think you are some kind great scientist or engineer than you need to toot your horn elsewhere. Why are you people living in such paranoid, fearful misery where you have to collect every scrap of information in order to protect yourself? That is absurd and horrible way to live. If the place is so bad than please just leave. The other option is to STFU, get paid well and get out of system what you can. Remember if you see something...say nothing.

Anonymous said...

Your ignorance is breathtaking.

November 26, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Sorry, after 50 years of working for other people, I have had nothing but good experiences. I did my best at the job I was assigned, my work was appreciated, and I improved in experience and knowledge and therefore autonomy in my responsibilities.

As I accumulated experience and credentials (BS, MS, PhD), I was better appreciated and got along better with my superiors, with one rather depressing exception. Eventually I was given responsibility for other employees, including hiring and firing. Although I had to let go a couple of employees my predecessors hired, after almost 15 years in management, I never had to reprimand or give a poor employee review to anyone I had hired, and they have all prospered since my retirement, and are lauded by their new managers.

My superiors likewise lauded me (as did the admin folks at every level in my organization) when I retired. My employees took me out to an expensive restaurant to celebrate my retirement and gave me some impressive gifts. I've never attributed bad motives to anyone in my life without clear cause. Most of the time I've been right. You should try to be a little more understanding of other people's view of things and especially how your self-centered statements and actions affect others.

Your attitude is guaranteed to sabotage your career, if it hasn't already. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your "perfect" retirement.

Keeping records is like having car or life insurance. You pay for the policies while hoping you will never have to make a claim, but just in case.

I never felt the need for keeping records before LLNS took over LLNL. Life was good. I did what I was told/assigned. PA were fine for many long, long years...I never complained, always smiled and spoke politely. I did keep record though.

I never had any security incident nor safety issue.

After LLNL took over, I did not change my department, nor group. Only managers were changed.

Things began going downhill. All the way to Staff Relations. I then learned that Division leader and Staff Relations will lie to their teeth, right in front of me.
The only saving grace I had was all of the records I have saved in my entire career at the Lab. These records saved my skin.

These records caught these managers and SR on their lying. Even then, they did not show any sign of embarrassment. That' how good they are about lying.

I was not paranoid, I just had a good "insurance" policy of keeping records.

If keeping good record did not help you, it can never hurt you.







Anonymous said...

Things began going downhill. All the way to Staff Relations. I then learned that Division leader and Staff Relations will lie to their teeth, right in front of me.

November 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Why only you? Ever think about that? What did you do to cause that?

Anonymous said...

Are you so naive to question what did an employee do to cause that? Where have you been since LLNS took over? You must be a "world - class" pretender or absolutely blind to the abuse of power of the management since the transition.

Anonymous said...

November 26, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Nice post but you live in a bygone era that is never ever coming back. There are a new set of rules and someone like would not advance. No manger in the current lab would ever trust you. You had faith in the people you hired and and rewarded them for good work. In the lab today you only owe something to the mangers above you. If you say anything good or do anything good to those below you than are suspect of of the lack of loyalty to the system. Someone like you is a good person and could make it other places but the current lab is not for you nor anyone like you. Your postings on the lab are misplaced and utterly irrelevant to the current situation. What are you hoping to accomplish by your posts? All it does is make people feel about what the labs have become and make those who live under it feel ashamed at what they have become. You can be high and mighty from your past life but to be honest you could never last in the new lab.

Anonymous said...

"Why only you? Ever think about that? What did you do to cause that?

November 26, 2014 at 8:36 PM"

That is a very odd statement, in my division everyone simply assumes that managers and staff relations will lie through their teeth. It is just taken a fact of life and everyone lives with it. The sin that 8.07pm did was to rock the boat so he gets what he deserves in my book. Everyone knows the rules to the game now, if you choose not play by them you get burned...nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I share the same sentiment about managers and SR do lie through their teeth. They must have taken a class name "how to lie to employees and keep your face straight until get caught. .." now what account number these managers charge to to enroll and what is the cours number? Advanced Lying 202....Repeat every 6 months.

Anonymous said...

My superiors likewise lauded me (as did the admin folks at every level in my organization) when I retired. My employees took me out to an expensive restaurant to celebrate my retirement and gave me some impressive gifts. I've never attributed bad motives to anyone in my life without clear cause. Most of the time I've been right. You should try to be a little more understanding of other people's view of things and especially how your self-centered statements and actions affect others.

Your attitude is guaranteed to sabotage your career, if it hasn't already. Sad.

November 26, 2014 at 7:29 PM


Sorry to disappoint you, my career is actually very successful. I love what I am doing, and I am repected within my peer community.
I find it humorous that you accuse me of not respecting other people's view, when I was trying to answer someone who clearly would be guilty of the same crime you accuse me.

And where is your understanding and respecting of different opinions?

Having read the description of your wonderful worklife , I think you had a great experience.
However, this is not the experience of a lot of people at the labs, and therefore as a scientist I can only reiterate my previous post: Document everything , the same way you take notes in a lab journal describing an experiment.

Anonymous said...

"...My superiors likewise lauded me (as did the admin folks at every level in my organization) when I retired. My employees took me out to an expensive restaurant to celebrate my retirement and gave me some impressive gifts..."

Your career and retirement recognition experiences are as they should be.

Some imply employees "didn't keep their heads down" and therefore it is their fault for being abused by LLNS.

At some level, such an excuse provides a measure of relief to the spectators by attaching a justification to LLNS management employee abuses. In other words, "they must deserve it", "they were asking for it" or they "sabotaged" their own career, so I should not be concerned about what happens to them.

I do not blame do nothing employee "on-lookers" witnessing unacceptable LLNS employment practices because retaliation at LLNS happens and it happens often. However, when they start in with the "they deserve it" reasoning it is offensive.

Lets just ease up on the Monday morning criticisms of our fellow or former less fortunate coworkers, they want rewarding careers, "impressive gifts", and kind words at their retirement parties too.

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is job mobility. Lab workers are not generally able to walk out the door and get a good paying job in Silicon Valley or elsewhere. They have absolutely no leverage and are easy prey to the management and SR. A lot of people are trapped there because they have skills that nobody wants, like the ability to calculate weapons yields with antiquated computer codes. They convince themselves that they serve some higher purpose and their work is important, so they stay. It's pathetic to watch and only when you leave the lab and join the productive world do you realize this.

I've been the victim of SR. I've seen them lie to protect the management. I've had them lie to me and engage in what I can only call "psychological torture". I've seen them cover up a physical assault by a manager by getting a witness to change their story. I've seen them protect a sexual harasser. I've seen it all. The only solution is to leave and try to forget about it. The hardest part is realizing again that people are basically good.

Anonymous said...

"I've been the victim of SR. I've seen them lie to protect the management. I've had them lie to me and engage in what I can only call "psychological torture". I've seen them cover up a physical assault by a manager by getting a witness to change their story. I've seen them protect a sexual harasser. I've seen it all. The only solution is to leave and try to forget about it. The hardest part is realizing again that people are basically good.

November 27, 2014 at 12:44 PM"

The points you make all correct but I want to add the management abuse and the extreme decline in the lab did not occur until after the contract change. This idea of just be silent and never question anything is not a culture for a scientific lab...hell it is not a culture for any place that wants to succeed. The whole contract change has been an utter disaster for the NNSA labs, the workers, and the United States. The only people that hail it as a success as the highly paid members of the bloated management ranks who want to keep this going. It is this reason that they need and must stomp out anyone who questions anything.

Anonymous said...

I think the decline of the lab started when testing ended and the real weapons scientists started retiring. What the lab has now is a bunch of poseurs pretending to be weapons experts. For instance, the head of the weapons program is former code jockey from Omega in Rochester. The head of one of the weapons divisions washed out of getting tenure at a university before he came to the lab. You have two married astronauts there. The one who's the head of the NIF they didn't even want. He came in the bargain. The director is one of the many scientists hired by the X-RAY laser program in the 80's. When that gravy train ended they went into management. Top "weapons scientists" in A and B division have never done an experiment, let alone a nuclear test. It's all really a joke.

Anonymous said...

On 9-17-13, after one year of dealing with LLNS Engineering and Staff Relations abuse, I emailed the NNSA Livermore Field Office Manager for help. On 9-20-13 (72 hours later), I was dismissed and escorted out the gate after 29 years of service to LLNL at age 50.

It will take years to have these LLNS issues resolved in any objective manner. Going forward, more parties are becoming aware of the employment practices at LLNS.

Early on, I twice proposed my reinstatement at LLNS to your Director as a DOE encouraged, "informal agreement". Your Director elected not to respond in both cases. Reinstatements or other forms of informal agreements are completely optional.

Anonymous said...

"...My superiors likewise lauded me (as did the admin folks at every level in my organization) when I retired. My employees took me out to an expensive restaurant to celebrate my retirement and gave me some impressive gifts..."

Respectfully, perhaps there are more important things to reflect on than "restaurants" and "expensive gifts", like other LLNS employees with comparable laboratory contributions and accomplishments to yours treated radically different than you. Something to consider next time you raise your next retirement champagne glass.

Anonymous said...

Something to consider next time you raise your next retirement champagne glass.

November 27, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Won't be a "next time." It only comes once, and only if you spend your career making valued and respected colleagues instead of enemies and alienated coworkers and superiors. Generally in life, you are treated as you treat other people. Sort of a reverse "Golden Rule." If you expect people to treat you badly, they will expect the same from you, and if they are powerful enough, they will take preemptive steps to make sure it doesn't happen. The vibes you give off will determine your fate. That's a fact of life.

Anonymous said...

"...The vibes you give off will determine your fate. That's a fact of life..."

Its always the victims fault. Ask any child abuser or wife beater. Sad.

Anonymous said...

"... and only if you spend your career making valued and respected colleagues instead of enemies and alienated coworkers and superiors..."

Well unfortunately at LANSLLNS it doesn't matter "...if you spend your career making valued and respected colleagues instead of enemies and alienated coworkers and superiors...". At LANSLLNS, you need only cross management once and your toast. It doesn't matter if your "coworkers and colleagues" simultaneously like you, they will look the other way out of fear of reprisal.

Unlike you, they (the real coworkers) will not rationalize a feel good cop out. They know a wrong has been committed but are frightened to speak out, and it is understandable.

If it makes you feel better, go ahead and Frankenstein the historical treatment of your coworkers into a pleasing and acceptable memory. Whatever floats your boat. Clearly you are an appreciative beneficiary of the LANSLLNS system of success. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly you are an appreciative beneficiary of the LANSLLNS system of success. Congratulations. "

I think you are being unfair to the poster. My guess is that this person retired over 15 years ago and has no idea what the current state of affairs is at the labs. The labs where a different place when he/she was around. I can understand that they may be thinking that the labs are still special places which are wonderful to work at, but that is no longer the reality.

Anonymous said...

Please look up "where" vs "were."
raa

Anonymous said...

"...The vibes you give off will determine your fate. That's a fact of life..."

Its always the victims fault. Ask any child abuser or wife beater. Sad.

November 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Apples and oranges. You attempt to equate a hierarchical workplace environment where the higher-ups naturally have more authority and power, to a marriage where equality and mutual respect are the expected norm. Funy, I haven't heard of any employees being beaten by management. Hyperbole is rarely an effective strategy. Sad.

Anonymous said...


November 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Apples and oranges. You attempt to equate a hierarchical workplace environment where the higher-ups naturally have more authority and power, to a marriage where equality and mutual respect are the expected norm. Funy, I haven't heard of any employees being beaten by management. Hyperbole is rarely an effective strategy. Sad.

November 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Agreed. Think about this the LLNs managers have to deal with small minded, angry, sad and bitter people. I think they deserve real credit for treating these people as well as they do. In the real world they would dump more the 50% of this current workforce. It is an insult to management to equate actions of management to domestic abuse.

Anonymous said...

"... Funy, I haven't heard of any employees being beaten by management..."

Beaten physically by a manager? Doubtful. Harassed, denigrated, abused, making female engineering subordinates cry, recruiting women, then sleeping with these new hire women and demanding subordinate employees cover for this unethical behavior when the wife calls upon threat of being fired, OR managers that can't keep their hands or bodies to themselves after repeated requests to stop unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances where the perpetrators are not reprimanded? You want names? Not physically beaten by a manager though, your most likely correct on that point. Good catch (?).

Your response is a weak deflection, and it would neither be "funy" or funny if it were your sister, wife, or daughter.

If LANSLLNS managers believe these complaints exclusively come from "small minded" or "bitter" employees, "hush hush" or cowardly means to retaliate against employees defined as such would not be necessary to defend subsequent and justifiable "disciplinary" actions by management against that employee.

Anonymous said...

If things are really as bad for (some) employees as portrayed here, then only two conclusions are possible: 1)this is only happening to a very small number of employees (for whatever reasons), or 2) 100% of the employee population is gutless and has no self-respect. No other conclusion can explain the fact that employees are not leaving in droves. Therefore I call the question and conclude that things are not really as bad as claimed here.

Anonymous said...

A reasonable conclusion. However, there are a number of factors that may prevent employees from leaving even with marketable private sector skills:

1. Their family is nearby or the spouse doesn't want to
move or has a local job

2. They are underwater on their home mortgage and
can't easily sell

3. The LLNS employment practices described on this
blog have no direct impact to their individual
career (as best can be determined)

It not probable to have 100% of the LLNS employees
wishing to leave "in droves". Those that are not directly impacted but are aware of employees that are impacted, are not "gutless", they are fearful for their own jobs. I would reserve the word "gutless" for the set of LLNS managers having responsibility to address such issues but have elected (or are instructed) to look the other way.

"It takes a village" of complicit LLNS managers to accomplish some of the employment practice examples expressed on this blog. The problems at LLNS are not openly addressable at LLNS without direct consequence to the messenger, so the topic is channeled to blogs and elsewhere outside LLNS.

Anonymous said...

Dismiss the gutlessness of the employees by explaining that to leave would be inconvenient (if it weren't, it wouldn't require guts!). Then pass the blame back to the managers, which is irrelevant to the question of how employees should respond. Great.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

If things are really as bad for (some) employees as portrayed here, then only two conclusions are possible: 1)this is only happening to a very small number of employees (for whatever reasons), or 2) 100% of the employee population is gutless and has no self-respect. No other conclusion can explain the fact that employees are not leaving in droves. Therefore I call the question and conclude that things are not really as bad as claimed here.

November 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

This is a profoundly simplistic view and reflects you lack basic logic and analytic skills. There was a employee survey done at LANL a few years back and it indicated that that people where very unhappy about LANLs. It is very likely that the overall perception at LLNL is the same about LLNLs. Since the contract change there has been a significant number of people who have left both labs. I have heard that it is up 25-33% percent of non-management workforce turnover since the contract change. This seems to square with my division but there is no way in hell LLNLs would ever let an official number known since it would make them look bad. A fraction of the workforce has also rather specialized skills which makes it hard for them to just leave, this should be obvious to anyone with brain, which excludes the 2:35pm poster.
LLNL does hire new people but they simply not of the same quality as before since the labs are no longer seen as particularly good placed to work anymore. This can be seen by the education level of the new hires, the prestige of the institutes they have graduates from, and the other job offers they turned down to come to the labs. I think you would have to look long in hard to find someone who does not acknowledge that the labs have undergone a significant decline since the contract change.

I know these arguments are far to sophisticated for you so lets use 2:35pm logic so you can understand. One can assume that (1) The person just a total idiot who just to dumb to know they are dumb. (2) A retiree with severe dementia and forgets to take their medication. (3) A bitter nut job who hates scientists and engineers. No other conclusion can explain the fact that his posts are so off the mark. Therefore the only logical conclusion is that this poster is just clueless idiot.

Anonymous said...

No LLNS employee wants to admit they should have intervened when they didn't, the rest is endless post event rationalization for keeping silent. In fairness, LLNS doesn't need employee martyrs, LLNS needs systematic institutional change before it becomes a collection of management wagon drivers without the scientific or engineering horsepower to pull it, if it isn't too late already.

Anonymous said...

November 28, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Please look up "to" vs "too," and "lets" vs "let's."

Anonymous said...

Please be real 8:56 pm. These postings are written as expressions of personal views without editing and reediting...it is ok to make small errors here in there without losing the main ideas. Posters are not required to have perfect grammar nor immaculate spelling. As long as readers understand the post, that's all it count.

Anonymous said...


"This idea of just be silent and never question anything is not a culture for a scientific lab...hell it is not a culture for any place that wants to succeed."

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

"..."This idea of just be silent and never question anything is not a culture for a scientific lab...hell it is not a culture for any place that wants to succeed."..."

True, unless success is measured exclusively by short term LANSLLNS profits where established programmatic milestones not achieved and WIPP environmental mistakes only have cushioned and distributed repercussions to LANSLLNS earnings or to the responsible managers.

If you are only referring to questionable business practices or low employee morale of LANSLLNS, the LLC may still "succeed" as defined above with continued employee unrest and workforce churn.
As long as LANSLLNS can continue to mold NNSA expectation metrics (influence their own report card grades). Madoff and Skilling would be so proud of LANSLLNS impregnable profit arrangements.

If it heats up too much in the Lab kitchens, LANSLLNS will just become LANSLLNS 2.0 to stay in the action with a clean slate, unconnected and not responsible for LANSLLNS legacy issues.

Anonymous said...

November 29, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Please look up "to" vs "too,".

Anonymous said...

"...If it heats up too much in the Lab kitchens, LANSLLNS will just become LANSLLNS 2.0 to stay in the action with a clean slate, unconnected and not responsible for LANSLLNS legacy issues..."

No "skin in the game".

Anonymous said...

As long as readers understand the post, that's all it count.

November 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

That would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Plan B: If a blog comment is solid and LANSLLNS can't defend against it, instruct the LANSLLNS troll to attack simple grammar or spelling issues. Plan C: if plan B fails, instruct the LANSLLNS troll to attack sentence and paragraph structure, and so on. What an entertaining rodeo clown this person is.

Anonymous said...

So my high school English teacher always said, "If you don't think your thoughts are important enough to express clearly and in proper English, why should anyone else think they are important?"

Anonymous said...

What an entertaining rodeo clown this person is.

November 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Rodeo clowns exist to save people from their own dumb mistakes.

Anonymous said...

"...Rodeo clowns exist to save people from their own dumb mistakes..."

Yes and the rodeo clown is working hard to protect LANSLLNS managers by the art of distraction, from "their own dumb mistakes". Nice observation.

Anonymous said...

"...So my high school English teacher always said, "If you don't think your thoughts are important enough to express clearly and in proper English, why should anyone else think they are important?"..."

With respect to blog comments, the logic you subscribe to, that of your "high school teacher", promotes superficial judgement of language proficiency over the substance of what is being communicated to you. This is not a good way to go through life. Many people you encounter may offer valuable advice or experiences to you that may not be an English teacher and may not have been born in the United States. Discounting the advice, experiences, or opinions of people that do not speak or write exactly as you do are missed opportunities to expand your horizons in life.

Anonymous said...

Many people you encounter may offer valuable advice or experiences to you that may not be an English teacher and may not have been born in the United States.

November 29, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Yeah, sure... But that is a red herring here - the yahoos on this blog are just uneducated American trailer trash. Unfortunately, with access to a computer.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, sure... But that is a red herring here - the yahoos on this blog are just uneducated American trailer trash. Unfortunately, with access to a computer.

November 29, 2014 at 9:17 PM"

I doubt you believe this or you would not be reading and posting on this blog. What exactly is your agenda?

Anonymous said...

"...I doubt you believe this or you would not be reading and posting on this blog. What exactly is your agenda?..."

Exactly

Anonymous said...



November 29, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Please look up "knot" vs "not,".

Anonymous said...

November 29, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Please look up "knot" vs "not,".

November 30, 2014 at 9:33 AM didn't use either word.

Anonymous said...

How about looking up knob?

Anonymous said...

Please look up "pedant" vs "bore."

Anonymous said...


I appreciate the poster keeping us updated on his case. Thanks. And good luck with it.

I do not appreciate the folks who continually disrupt the blog with inane comments.

All of their very purposeful focus on knocking every serious conversation off topic or burying it in pages of inanity is beginning to feel like someone does not want serious discussion on the blog.

I really wish there was a moderated blog, with higher signal-to-noise ratio...but I realize that would be a tremendous amount of effort to edit and appreciate what we do have here. Thanks Scooby.

Anonymous said...

Quality observations Scooby. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Scooby or Dooby Dew? We'll never know, except by the signature of his/her stealth deletions without explanation. I'd say a blog administrator with clear guidelines fairly and consistently enforced is the ideal. Sigh... Oh well, I guess the 20 or so bloggers here make it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...


The 2:20 pm post was me thanking Scooby. I am not Scooby. But I do appreciate that he runs the blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with December 2, 2: 20 pm.
Thank you for deleting comments of December 1, 8:16 pm and the likes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for deleting comments of December 1, 8:16 pm and the likes.

December 2, 2014 at 9:42 PM

That post was not deleted. You don't understand Scooby (or whomever his current surrogate is, Dooby Dew) as well as you think you do. The deletion category is nonsensical. Just what Scooby decides he doesn't like. If you love Obama's "executive action" you love Scooby's deletions. No law or discernible rule is necessary, just the rule that what we don't like, we delete. Simple Progressive political logic. Diversity is valued in everything except diversity of opinion.

Anonymous said...

My goodness...all this verbiage and I still have no clue as to the identity of the poor fellow who was asked to leave. Can someone help me out here? I mean was he a worker bee, upper management or someone in between?

Anonymous said...

My goodness...all this verbiage and I still have no clue as to the identity of the poor fellow who was asked to leave. Can someone help me out here? I mean was he a worker bee, upper management or someone in between?

Anonymous said...

I was a non-manager 29 year employee and dismissed (fired) by LLNS at age 50.

I was a vocal pro-proponent of what today would be called "diversity awareness" at the Lab. However, our diversity employee concerns did not have Lab sponsorship, meaning we did not have funded or management approved diversity assignments or diversity careers at the Lab.

Composed of Lab employees of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, we diligently communicated equal opportunity observations and concerns to a less than receptive Lab management.

Anonymous said...

we diligently communicated equal opportunity observations and concerns to a less than receptive Lab management.

December 3, 2014 at 6:44 AM

A little less diligence might have been better, career-wise.

Anonymous said...

"...A little less diligence might have been better, career-wise..."

In terms of career advancement, acknowledged or not, many uninvolved Lab minority and women employees benefited as a result of the precise level of diligence applied, including members of the current LLNS Senior Management Team.

Anonymous said...

Officially "uninvolved" future LLNS Senior Managers would better capture the situation. An awkward circumstance for LLNS "diversity" recruiters for sure. How deplorable for our Lab.

Anonymous said...

So all the "diligence" ended up profiting the people it was directed against? Great job.

Anonymous said...

"...Composed of Lab employees of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, we diligently communicated equal opportunity observations and concerns to a less than receptive Lab management..."

Sounds like something the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, etc., would be interested in knowing about.

Anonymous said...

"...In terms of career advancement, acknowledged or not, many uninvolved Lab minority and women employees benefited as a result of the precise level of diligence applied, including members of the current LLNS Senior Management Team..."

The referenced (minority and female) "LLNS Senior Management Team" threw this guy "under the bus". Bad karma.

Anonymous said...

Lots of "white guys" have also been "thrown under the bus" by a Senior Management Team that is running scared - afraid to openly buck the DOE, NNSA and the President's Science Advisors over declining budgets and loss of missions. So I don't think it's a diversity issue.

Anonymous said...

The diversity mafia will not be satisfied until ONLY "white guys" are ever "thrown under the bus."

Anonymous said...

An individual's Diversity importance at LANSLLNS boils down to utilization tables compiled quarterly or once a year. If one happens to be a vocal minority in a utilization "achieved" or utilization "exceeded" category, LANSLLNS does whatever they want to you.

In terms of being hired and promotional prospects at LANSLLNS, the best minority category to be in is "under" utilization. Employees in this category, particularly managers, are virtually untouchable because they are used by the Lab as political leverage and both parties benefit.

For the "under" utilized employee, it doesn't matter what inappropriate conduct they are caught doing, they will advance upward regardless. I am a supporter of employment Diversity, but when this happens, it undermines the purpose.

Anonymous said...

Do we have "under" utilized managers at LANS or LLNS?

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