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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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Laid-Off Livermore Lab Workers Reach $37M Settlement

Laid-Off Livermore Lab Workers Reach $37M Settlement
The former employees filed suit after the lab laid off more than 1,000 employees in a workforce restructuring in 2008.

By AUTUMN JOHNSON (Livermore Patch Staff)
September 30, 2015

The claims of 129 former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory workers who were laid off in 2008 have been resolved in a $37.25 million settlement in Alameda County Superior Court, the lab said today.

The former employees filed suit after the lab laid off more than 1,000 employees in a workforce restructuring in 2008. In 2013, the claims of five so-called “test plaintiffs,” out of 130 former employees who filed suit, were litigated in two separate jury trials. According to the lab, the first trial, which alleged breach of the plaintiffs’ employment contracts, resulted in a victory for the five test plaintiffs and an award of $2.73 million in damages. But the lab prevailed in the second trial, which alleged that the Laboratory had discriminated against older employees in making layoff decisions.

Both jury verdicts were on appeal but with the encouragement of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman the parties engaged in a months-long mediation process that resulted in the settlement that was announced today. One plaintiff didn’t settle her case. The lab said it continues to deny any wrongdoing in connection with the circumstances underlying the work force reduction. The workers are represented by Oakland attorney J. Gary Gwilliam but he said the settlement precludes him from commenting on the case at this time. Lab spokeswoman Lynda Seaver said she also cannot yet comment on the case.

Elaine Andrews, who worked at the lab for 30 years and was one of the lead plaintiffs in the case, said the settlement “is not what we wanted and we haven’t been made whole for our losses but it’s been seven years and people need to move on.”

Andrews said all of the workers who were laid off were older than 50 and they believe the lab let them go so they could get rid of older employees and hire younger people at lower wages. Andrews said the layoffs came at a difficult time because most of the affected employees were too young to retire but too old to find another job since the U.S. had just gone into an economic downturn at the time.

“Many have lost their homes and suffered physical and mental issues from the stress of losing their livelihood,” Andrews said. The former employees also were unhappy about the manner in which they were fired, she said.

“Supervisors walked into our offices, told us we were being laid off but didn’t give us a reason and said we had 30 minutes to pack up our personal belongings,” she said. The laid-off employees were then escorted by armed guards to the exit center, where their security badges were confiscated, Andrews said.

“These weren’t loser employees, these were outstanding employees,” Andrews said. She said, “I had a great career there,” beginning as an employee in accounts payable then becoming a group leader in procurement, a manager in the contract labor office and working in a position in the human resources department.

http://patch.com/california/livermore/breaking-laid-livermore-lab-workers-reach-37m-settlement-0
Anonymous said...

37 million, loss of expertise, lowered moral, loss of trust in the lab... very well worth it for millions and millions of profits that have been made.
Anonymous said...
Just have NNSA pay for the fine, that's all they are good for is paying LLNS/LANS fines. While this all looks like LLNS fault, you know that NNSA approved this "restructuring". LLNS and LANS has been an absolute disaster.
Anonymous said...
"LLNS and LANS has been an absolute disaster. "

This is true for the workforce and America, however for the high level managers
and Bechtel, it has been very lucrative.
Anonymous said...
"...however for the high level managers and Bechtel, it has been very lucrative..."

Paved on a road with arc flash burns, WIPP, a Deputy Director scandal, and a wall of lab violations. Unlike executive management at Volkswagen, LANSLLNS management with responsibility of a "true-blue" for profit company thrive no matter what they do wrong. 
Anonymous said...
Break down the numbers ~

37,000,000 / 130 employees = 284,000

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear the LLNS spin on this settlement.

Anonymous said...

$37M is 'change' not worth worrying about.

-'GQ' Charlie

Anonymous said...

LLNS management did us wrong back in May of 2008 and finally they have to pay for their bad decisions. They took away our jobs - our careers - and gave our workload to younger and less senior employees that did not have the knowledge and experience that we had. Many of us had 25 or more years of outstanding service to the Lab with perfect employment records. We were escorted off site that day like we had done something terrible.

Anonymous said...

That 284,000 amount is before the lawyer's fees. And if you divide that 37 million by the years since the layoff (8 years) that comes to $5.2 million per year as an amortized penalty. For DOE/LLNS, that's pretty affordable.

Anonymous said...

Will the LLNL management ass clowns ever learn....they lose more than they win in court!! hahahahahah!!! Who is in charge...who made the layoff decision....who should get fired now!!! LOSERS!!! Who is the grammar Nazi that will correct my pithy comments. Say "what" again!!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the LLNS lawyer fees, they paid 8 years of those too. Good old George Miller, tears in his eyes as he fires hundreds to feed the LLNS cash machine and stuff his own pocket.

Anonymous said...

I guessing that George Miller, a decent good man, is not the same after the DOE/LLNS debacle.

Anonymous said...


"Deindividuation is a concept in social psychology that is generally thought of as the losing of self-awareness in groups.
Theories of deindividuation propose that it is a psychological state of decreased self-evaluation and decreased evaluation
apprehension that causes abnormal collective behavior."

I wouldn't count on any individual LANSLLNS manager losing sleep over that layoff. Since that layoff, LANSLLNS has been very busy chipping away at employee benefits and job stability to the point of them being unrecognizable to the previous 50+ year UC/LANL and UC/LLNL systems. This was a well executed contractor candidate "bait and switch" play impacting thousands of Lab employees.

Anonymous said...

"Just let those NNSA suckers pay for this"

Charlie "GQ" McMillan

Anonymous said...

I'm sure he wasn't the same either. Imaging the size of the LLNS bonus check he must have gotten that year, never mind his new LLNS salary.

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't count on any individual LANS LLNS manager losing sleep over that layoff. Since that layoff, LANSLLNS has been very busy chipping away at employee benefits and job stability to the point of them being unrecognizable to the previous 50+ year UC/LANL and UC/LLNL systems. This was a well executed contractor candidate "bait and switch" play impacting thousands of Lab employees. "

Since the contract change the managers go to these meetings where they go on about loyalty to other management and that is all that matters. They are deliberately creating a us versus them mentality, since LLNLS and LANS are only interested in
sucking money by any means necessary. It has just been a horrible disaster. Managers are taught not to make friends, communicate, interact, or keep the workforce informed. Over time they consider the workers "other" almost not fully human, undeserving of any form of dignity. They talk about how the world has changed and the new rules of the economy, where one does not create value but "captures" it form others. They are taught talent is cheap and abundant so it no longer has value, but only those that can "harvest" and organize talent will be the winners in the new economy. The wheat by itself is not of value it is the farmer who is of value. The farmer is not friends with the wheat and cannot feel sorry for the wheat when it has to be chopped down. To be competitive in today's market one has to do what it takes and not worry about the mistakes that others have made in thinking that technical skills are the true value when it is the capturing skills.
Never feel guilt or feel sorry for good decisions, feel proud and happy about what you are doing. If what you are doing is not right why are you being paid so much?

Anonymous said...

October 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Complete fantasy of course. But it illuminates your own paranoia quite well.

Anonymous said...

It is worse than Lab manager "Deindividuation" and high salary reinforcement of manager vs. worker bee attitudes. A distinguishing
feature of LANS and LLNS is they are both for-profit LLCs that are not burdened or restrained with the normal free market risk/reward business feedback loop. The eroding work atmosphere and employee morale from the transition to now is shameful.

Anonymous said...

Complete fantasy of course. But it illuminates your own paranoia quite well.

October 4, 2015 at 9:20 PM

If only it was, however if you ask some of your managers what they think of the
world you will in fact get something along these lines. By the way have you ever been to some of the lab management training?

Anonymous said...

"By the way have you ever been to some of the lab management training?"

Do you have printed management training material to share? Probably not, they wouldn't print up their questionable training goals, but the net result as you say, is very clear. You would think DOE would not allow such an interlocked allegiance between managers since it could lead to a classified material violation concealment, or other withheld impropriety. How long did senior LANS management sit on the Beth Sellers scandal before she actually left?

Anonymous said...

By the way have you ever been to some of the lab management training?

October 4, 2015 at 10:30 PM

Yes.

Anonymous said...


Yes.

October 5, 2015 at 9:56 AM

If so than you can confirm what has been stated. Care to enlighten us or are you a fake?

Anonymous said...

October 5, 2015 at 9:35 PM

I already did, at October 4, 2015 at 9:20 PM. I attended management training before, during, and after the transition at LANL. October 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM is engaging in pure fantasy and I'm sure he knows it. A little reflection would tell you that since most management training (at least at LANL) takes place outside the fence, it would be easy, even if there were no hardcopy training materials (there are), for someone to surreptitiously record video or audio of the training. If the content were as stated, wouldn't you suspect that at least one person would be horrified and want to make it public? But I guess rational discourse about anything is rare on this blog.

Anonymous said...

"... If the content were as stated, wouldn't you suspect that at least one person would be horrified and want to make it public? But I guess rational discourse about anything is rare on this blog...?

Such a manager might be "horrified" to publicly disclose "in strict confidence" or privileged management material. Your "off site" training reference is irrelevant to the discussion. Do you think the Volkswagen decision to circumvent American auto emissions tests were communicated to its senior managers at an "off site"? So much for rational discourse.

Anonymous said...

No one said "off site." The term was "outside the fence." If you don't know, most of LANL operations, including HR and training, are not based inside a security area. Also, I never saw ANY LANL management training material marked as restricted in any way.

Anonymous said...

"I already did, at October 4, 2015 at 9:20 PM. I attended management training before, during, and after the transition at LANL. October 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM is"

I am calling BS on you, it goes against what every has been saying and the kind management has been saying that that trickles down. Some of these things have even been stated by managers at meeting to workers. You have to admit that since the transitions LANL management has been a total disaster at every level. This is not a controversial statement and even the current managers are now admitting it. So what is your story, did you make this up, do you have to convince yourself otherwise, are you long out of management but just trying to stir things up?

Anonymous said...

October 6, 2015 at 6:09 PM

I am calling BS on you...

Fine. Do whatever you like (as if you were appointed a referee). I told the truth. I don't really care what you think is the truth, since you have no experience in the matter.

Anonymous said...

"Fine. Do whatever you like (as if you were appointed a referee). I told the truth. I don't really care what you think is the truth, since you have no experience in the matter.

October 6, 2015 at 7:22 PM"

Well one of us is wrong. I noticed that you still refuse to answer the questions and that is dead give away that you are not who you say you are.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that you still refuse to answer the questions and that is dead give away that you are not who you say you are.

October 6, 2015 at 8:36 PM

Uh, what questions did I refuse to answer?? My personal story is none of your business. I was in middle management at LANL, and I retired some time after the transition to LANS, and don't give a shit about "stirring things up." I just would like to stop other assholes from unnecessarily "stirring things up."

Anonymous said...

$284,000 - 44% lawyer fee and court cost sharing - tax = about $70,000 net......!

Anonymous said...

"...I was in middle management at LANL, and I retired some time after the transition to LANS..."

I wish you well in your retirement from LANS. I don't think LANS would hand out fliers of management strategy "outside the fence",
inside the fence, or at "La Fonda on the Plaza" in Santa Fe. That would be reckless and unnecessary. Only select managers and managers
approaching or past a work place boundary condition would be "enlightened" with unadvertised expectations from LANS upper
management. It sounds like you were spared from these core marching orders or retired early enough to not be exposed to such unwritten policies. LANS on transition day one, does not reassemble LANS today. Again, happy retirement.

Anonymous said...

"Uh, what questions did I refuse to answer?? My personal story is none of your business. I was in middle management at LANL, and I retired some time after the transition to LANS, and don't give a shit about "stirring things up." I just would like to stop other assholes from unnecessarily "stirring things up.""

If you don't care than why are you posting on this blog. Here is a question,
do you think under LANS that management has become a disaster?

Anonymous said...

Here is a question,
do you think under LANS that management has become a disaster?

October 7, 2015 at 8:14 AM

No reply?

Anonymous said...

LANS management is not a "disaster" as the word is commonly used (bridge collapses, hotel fires, multiple car crashes in fog, severe flooding, wildfires, etc.) that produce property loss, multiple deaths, and many injuries. We need to tone down the rhetoric here. LANS/LLNS management is short sighted, foolish, self-centered, greedy, maybe even venal and vicious in its operations. But the reality is that no one works at LANL, or LLNL, under duress. Freedom to choose where and for whom to work exists. No one need suffer under LANS/LLNS management. We might agree that the long-standing reputations and resultant standing of the institutions have been seriously damaged by this ill-considered foray into for-profit status for the labs, but there is no "disaster" except in the minds of people who think they have no alternative but to be victims.

Anonymous said...

You don't really actually live in Northern New Mexico, do you ?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and have for 37 years. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

LLNS comes out of this in terrific shape. It had been pushing to settle along these lines from the beginning. The law firm representing the laid off employees kept promising their clients back pay and triple damages due to intentional discrimination. They lost the discrimination case a couple of years ago, so bye bye triple damages. And bye bye a big legal fee for the law firm. Whether the plaintiffs had a legit case or not, the law firm took a big bath on this and in no way will recover the time they put in --- they were looking for a big payday that didn't happen. If I had to make a guess it would be that the employees finally overrode their lawyers and took what was offered.

Anonymous said...


Well worth it for LLNS. This is how the pros play. LLNS can really go to work now and make some real money since they know they can effectively win in court. Expect that things are going to real fun now.

Anonymous said...

LLNS Management "lessons learned" from the 2008 lay off:

1. Never lay off hundreds of lab employees at the same time at the same place. These employees will compare their circumstances and
then file a class action law suit.

2. Change workforce policies at will, and make terms retroactive as needed. Most employees won't worry about the workforce policy
changes until it is too late. Make sure the NNSA accepts ownership of LLNS lay off policies and its implementation.

3. Lay off lab employees discretely, separated in time and location until the lay off target number goal is reached.

4. Keep the bonuses flowing to those LLNS managers administering the lay off and the steps that precede it.

5. As used before on lay off day, communicate LLNS management's utter disdain for the lab employee being laid off by the use of lab
security force escorts to the exit gate. There can be no mistake. These employees must know they are no longer part of the Lab's
"extended family" and will not be treated with dignity. The laid off lab employees must be treated with less trust when exiting the lab
gate than that granted to a badged day vendor.



Anonymous said...

Interesting how you contrast "LLNS managers" with "employees," as if "employees" are not "LLNS employees," which of course they are. Then you talk about the "Lab's extended family" as if that hadn't dissolved in the transition from UC, which of course it did. No one works for the "Lab" anymore, and hasn't for 8 years. You appear woefully stuck in the past and unable to cope with the new reality, even 8 years later. Too bad for you. From those age-revealing references, you appear ready to retire, or at least well eligible. I encourage it so that you can finally relax and get on with life "after the Lab." It really is pretty good. Leave the younger aholes to cope with the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

LLNS management has no remorse for their 2008 lay off and workplace employee morale here has further eroded since that time.

Anonymous said...

LLNS management has no remorse for their 2008 lay off...

October 12, 2015 at 7:53 AM

You expect "remorse" for a management decision based on business considerations? HaHaHaHaHa!!!

Anonymous said...

You expect "remorse" for a management decision based on business considerations? HaHaHaHaHa!!!

October 12, 2015 at 7:13 PM

It was not on business considerations. If it was that they would not have had to settle. It was never about business.

Anonymous said...

It was not on business considerations. If it was that they would not have had to settle. It was never about business.

October 12, 2015 at 9:05 PM

Settling was a direct business decision. You obviously have never run a business.

Anonymous said...

"Settling was a direct business decision. You obviously have never run a business.

October 12, 2015 at 9:43 PM"


False, this was about money. Business is also about money but it runs by certain rules, namely free market consequences. LLNS is not in a free market and does so by definition it is not a business and is not constrained by these rules so it is impossible to say what the motives to settle are but business considerations are never part of the decision making process. Why do you think the place is such a total mess? Certain crime is about money as well.

Anonymous said...

So you think "business" automatically means "free markets"? There are no "businesses" in China or Russia? Your perspective is one of academia, unacquainted with the realities of the international "business" community. Stay out of arenas you have no expertise in and can't compete in.

Anonymous said...

So you think "business" automatically means "free markets"? There are no "businesses" in China or Russia? Your perspective is one of academia, unacquainted with the realities of the international "business" community. Stay out of arenas you have no expertise in and can't compete in.

October 13, 2015 at 8:58 PM

Again utterly false, there are indeed many businesses in China however there are some cases of state-business combinations that lead to some advantages in the short run but can lead to real free market shortfalls in the long run as is already happening. Russia, well that is another story altogether but we seem to be headed in that direction. Somalia can also be seen as a business run model but you know the end results. The free market only thrives for all under the rule of law. Sure scum like you like talk big but in the end you may well end up in jail, provided the free market and rule of law work. These rules are just statistical but remember "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” MLK, others call it Karma, the golden rule, or what comes around goes around. Sure some evil people will end up very rich but on average this will not be the case so people like you you better keep this in mind since the odds are not on your side.

Anonymous said...

Again utterly false, there are indeed many businesses in China

October 13, 2015 at 10:37 PM

Apparently you missed the question mark at the end of my comment. But you were too busy planning your next rant.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you missed the question mark at the end of my comment. But you were too busy planning your next rant.

October 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM

It is clear that you have no understanding of business, economics, politics, and international relations, none.

Anonymous said...

"LLNS Management "lessons learned" from the 2008 lay off:" agreed!

This sounds like the way NIF laid off colleagues to meet the drastic budget cuts in 2011 and 2012. By laid off I mean, get sent back to organizations without budgets or jobs, or be told to supplement the 50% salary cut with outside work !

Anyone care to comment ?

Anonymous said...

It is clear that you have no understanding of business, economics, politics, and international relations, none.

October 15, 2015 at 9:17 PM

Yep, none at all. Despite 30+ years in a combination of all of those fields. Yeah. I'm clueless. You, however, are an established and credentialed expert in all of those fields. I yield to greater wisdom (just before this thread sinks below the horizon).

Anonymous said...

"Yep, none at all. Despite 30+ years in a combination of all of those fields"

I am calling absolute and total bs on this, from your comments this cannot possibly be true. Perhaps you filled out your taxes once before, read a Tom Clancy book, and took a trip to Mexico once, and talked with someone from a the a "country" called Europe.


Anonymous said...

LLNS is not in a free market and does so by definition it is not a business and is not constrained by these rules so it is impossible to say what the motives to settle are but business considerations are never part of the decision making process.
October 13, 2015 at 7:19 AM

Jaw drops. This is one of the dumbest things I've read on this forum, and that is saying a lot. What reason could there possibly be to settle other than "business considerations", including not wanting to spend any more money on lawyers, and not wanting to risk an even bigger judgement? LLNS is not a company or a corporation, but it is an LLC and a business, and partners and senior management live or die based on fees instead of profits.

Anonymous said...

"but it is an LLC and a business, and partners and senior management live or die based on fees instead of profits."

No they do not and the rules in real world business do no apply hence the utter insanity of the place. The decisions made by LLNS never really make sense on any rational level. For all you know they could have settled because some managers spouse works for the law firm and it would be good for their career, and if this was the case no would really case since the money will most certainly not come out of bonuses, fees, or profit. Just spending money is not always about business considerations, for example is spending 75k on drugs and girls in cat-house in Nevada just a business consideration?

Anonymous said...


"...the rules in real world business do no apply hence the utter insanity of the place. The decisions made by LLNS never really make sense on any rational level."

Bingo! If the lab were driven by profit (or any other forcing function) it would be understandable, predictable even. Decisions at this point are approaching random.

Anonymous said...

The unfortunate part is that the lawyers get the lion share of this money. I know someone that received money from this settlement and it amounted to about $20K (before taxes and they have to pay all payroll taxes on proceeds - SS,Medicare,Fed,State,etc). Do the math, there were around 100 employees in this settlement so assuming the average payout to each was $25K that equals $2.5M - the other $35M goes to the lawyers. Disgraceful!!

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