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Friday, November 17, 2017

Sexual harassment at LANS and LLNS

With the recent male political, hollywood, and academic figures accused of sexual misconduct, are LANSLLNS managers held to a higher ethical standard, or are female LANSLLNS employees just very fearful to file a complaint with Staff Relations or HR and as a result, such matters do not frequently surface?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

What makes you think they do not frequently surface at the labs? If your lab coworker harasses you, you don't take it to CNN, you go to staff relations and they keep a very tight lid on it. Unless you are personally involved, or the victim tells you, you'll probably never hear about it.

Anonymous said...



A few things to keep in mind. Consider the size of Hollywood in terms of the number of actors, directors, producers etc with the number of cases that have come out or will come out. It is a large large number but not as big as the media hype has you believe. At this state we are talking about 5-7% of Hollywood at best not a good thing but not 50-75% that the average person would guess after all the hype. The same number may be true or a bit smaller in media, politics, academics and so on and so on. 1:52 PM also has a good point, anything at NNSA or DOE labs that does not involve the highest level people is just not something that you will hear about. I doubt Drudge Report or Daily Mail is going to post something like, "random guy at someplace called Argonne National Lab has been accused of harassment from an incident going back to 1995".

Look I applaud improving the working environment for everyone but we have to be careful and keep this based on facts, what can be proven, and be realistic about the magnitude of the problems. If it becomes too crazy we will have a witch hunt like situation where everyone will be suspect and we will end up with the French Revolution.

I am rather surprised that people really are willing to turn on the likes Weinstein, Affleck and Franken as these guys where considered untouchable by certain political parties only a year ago. I have crazy theory that Left went a bit insane after Trump and thought they would get rid of him by now, but we are one year into it and he is still there but they want blood so they are now they are eating themselves, but when the mob starts eating there is no telling how it will end. History has shown how this can ratchet up, the mob mentally is a very real and ugly thing.


Anonymous said...

Unlike the women coming out on CNN or Fox News, women at the Labs may have to work under the wrath of their sexual harassers and their harassers protectors. The wagons will circle.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the women coming out on CNN or Fox News, women at the Labs may have to work under the wrath of their sexual harassers and Unlike the women coming out on CNN or Fox News, women at the Labs may have to work under the wrath of their sexual harassers and their harassers protectors. The wagons will circle.

November 18, 2017 at 6:54 AM.

This sound like a lot of hot air to me. In Hollywood all this stuff was well known before hand, if anything like this was going on at NNSA or DOE labs than you would probably hear something about it. I am going to have to call troll on this as it just sounds like bs to me and an attempt to bash the labs. Although the blog has less posts with the extra moderation it has done a nice job of getting rid of the utterly crazed LANL haters. Sure all the NNSA and DOE labs have various issues but being hotbeds of abuse and harassment is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Staff relations represents the management, not the worker. It is their job to silence the victim if the harasser is a manager.
Also, if you testify on behalf of the victim you will be the subject of retaliation, as in the Kotla case a few years ago:

http://articles.latimes.com/2005/sep/23/local/me-sbriefs23.3

https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/department-of-energy-whistleblower-sexual-harassment-lawsuit/2017/01/30/id/771142/

I have personally been told by staff relations that management is infallible and there is no situation in which they can be in the wrong.
Maybe the culture is changing like it did recently at UCB with the Marcey case.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it has not a good enough job of getting rid of the crazy paranoid LANL defender, who has spent too much isolated time in the mountains. It's early though, not yet time to give up hope. Truth of the matter is, this stuff does happen at the labs, just like it happens in all workplaces. Probably not as much as in Hollywood, because no lab men have that as much individual power as Hollywood men can accumulate, but it happens.

Anonymous said...

Lab employees engaged in adulterous behavior can have their security clearances revoked. So when identified, Lab management can elect to conceal the behavior, defuse the situation, or the employee seemingly elects on his own to find employment elsewhere.

from ClearanceJobs.com:

"So, in the case of adultery by a cleared worker, what are the consequences? According to Tully, they are severe. An adulterous worker may lose their security clearance when it comes up for review, particularly if they’ve gone to any effort to conceal their actions. The reason for revoking the clearance is stated in Guideline D of the Adjudication Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, specifically that personal conduct can disqualify an individual when it "creates a vulnerability for exploitation, manipulation, or duress." Simply put, it is for cleared federal workers, as Tully puts it, "the kiss of death." "

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately it has not a good enough job of getting rid of the crazy paranoid LANL defender, who has spent too much isolated time in the mountains."

The only thing that is crazed or paranoid is are the persistent LANL haters that appear to have some kind of personal agenda. No one is "defending" LANL merely pointing out that it is very possible that harassment problems at any of the NNSA labs are not worse than other places or perhaps even lower since it could interfere with clearances. The idea that LANL or LLNL are dens of harassment just does not hold water. Now we have heard over the years on this blog some pretty crazy claims about how horrible LANL is and these claims are never based on facts or evidence. Stick to reasonable points rather that wild unfounded accusations, no one takes your LANL is hell/cesspool shtick seriously. Sure LANL has issues and management not being accountable could certainly be one amongst many others but lay off with far out claims. Look we got it, you have an issue with LANL but at this point it sounds like a personal issue rather than one that needs to shared on the blog. If you think you have a real point than please provide some evidence rather than calling people crazy or paranoid. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

Anonymous said...

Many problems at LANL ARE based on facts and evidence but some crazy people just ignore those facts.

While LANL is almost certainly not as bad as Hollywood when it comes to sexual harassment, LANL has seen its share of problems. You can find recent lawsuits against UC/LANS for failing to stop alleged LANL sexual predators (Tony Stanford, Robby A. Lovato) and there are widespread and persistent rumors that a senior LANL manager who recently resigned was facing numerous allegations of sexual harassment.

I personally know a woman who chose to leave the lab rather than file a case against a coworker who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Anonymous said...

"Many problems at LANL ARE based on facts and evidence but some crazy people just ignore those facts. "

False, no on is ignoring facts, and yes you have provided a few acts but no context to these facts, now the question is does LANL have issues that are worse, the same level, or lower than other intuitions of comparable size. That is is the comparison you have to do before you can conclude that LANL is much worse that you seem to imply. Of course LANL has issues because LANL has people, you have implied that LANL is somehow much worse, giving two names out of 12k is utterly meaningless. You personally knowing someone also means nothing without proper statistics and analysis. I could also say that I know lots of women who have had no issues at LANL and lots is more than one.

Look you are not doing yourself any favors by calling other people crazy when these people would would like some facts and statics. Arguing that you know one person is not evidence for some huge lab wide problem. Again your issues with LANL seem very personal and not based on reasoned assumptions. I have no problem criticizing LANL and believe that there are indeed issues at LANL that need to be addressed and hopefully will be in the contract change. You on the other hand will probably alwys hate LANL no matter what because you have some kind issue that is very personal to you which perhaps is something you should keep you yourself since it is not really relevant to LANL or the people that work at LANL. I do not want to go so far as to say you are crazy but your ability to be rational about LANL is clearly impaired.

In any case who is this major LANL manager that left recently at least give us a hint about which directorate he is in. No one is coming to mind but you could well be right about this.

Anonymous said...

I'm 7:18 AM and I was completely new to this thread when I first posted.

I didn't say anything like what 12:46 claimed I said. Nothing at all like it. I never said that LANL has some "huge lab wide problem". I only said that LANL has seen its share of problems. 12:46 put forth a completely false representation of what I wrote to show that he's so smart he can knock down a straw man.

I also didn't call out any specific person as crazy, I only said there are crazy people who ignore facts. There are, 12:46 proved me right.

Anonymous said...

LANSLLNS HR and staff relations are set up to protect the victimizers not the victims. Don't expect HR or staff relations to volunteer sexual harassment statistics, or to initiate lab wide sexual harassment investigations. LANSLLNS doesn't want to be assessed by the NNSA on such workplace performance metrics.

Anonymous said...

November 24, 2017 at 6:33 AM

What? You did not say? "Unfortunately it has not a good enough job of getting rid of the crazy paranoid LANL defender, who has spent too much isolated time in the mountains." or "Many problems at LANL ARE based on facts and evidence but some crazy people just ignore those facts. "

I am not buying that you are a "new poster", you are the same LANL hater troll who has been on this blog for some time, spewing unfounded claims and calling everyone and anyone "crazy" who calls you out for what you are. 12:46 simply is calling you out yet again.

Saying LANL has its share of problems is not very insightful especially if you do not provide any information on what those problems are, the occurrence of these issue relative to other institutions or comparable size, or even admitting that some things are not as problematic as you have been claiming.

Anonymous said...

UC/LANS gets sued for not stopping a sexual preditor and that's not a problem? UC/LANS has to settle the lawsuit and that's not a problem?

Only in your twisted world.

Anonymous said...

2:19 is Mr. Prove It, who thinks there is only one other poster on this forum, "HIM!", and exhibits clear signs of paranoid psychosis. Don't worry too much about him, he's probably mostly harmless.

Anonymous said...


12:31 AM, so when someone wants proof it means they have paranoid psychosis? How on earth does that work? Look to be honest to the only person that seems a bit off if you know what I mean is the LANL hater. You can try to reason with this person but they will just say that you are crazy when you present evidence, wants facts, or proof. They are extremely defensive and will always just attack anyone who calls them out for making sweeping statements without any any ability to back it up.

Your approach to these issues goes like this.

LANL Hater: The moon is made of cheese!

Normal peson: Could you please provide some evidence or proof of this?

LANL Hater: Mr Prove it is twisted, insane, psychotic and wanting proof proves he is insane and I am right.

Now do you see why people might not take you very seriously with your accusations against LANL.

So far you have given one case of harassment at LANL and claim that it means LANL overall must have issues with harassment. Again this is one case and and says nothing about the overall average at LANL or how LANL compares to other organizations of similar size. You need to get these other two pieces of information before you can make a claim that has any meaning. Asking for this is a reasonable thing to ask. You do know that people who are insane generally do not ask proof for iffy claims, however crazy people often make iffy claims that they expect others to believe without evidence. Just saying and it is something for you to think about.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen much of it. Two incidents in 35 years. I think the lack of titillating dress and demeanor, the ordinary appearances of employees, the reserved nature of the employees, the culture and the work, the occasional boring trsining, and the focus on job content limit the nonsense somewhat.

Anonymous said...

The present issue is not how many cases of sexual harassment LANL has seen compared with other instiutions. The issue is how well did the UC/LANS management handle the cases it had to deal with. By actual court records from the real world, not some confused and twisted world, UC/LANS has failed to protect victims (plural). Another strike against UC, and a big strike too.

By the way, this is only my third post on this thread.

Anonymous said...

The present issue is not how many cases of sexual harassment LANL has seen compared with other instiutions. The issue is how well did the UC/LANS management handle the cases it had to deal with.

It would seem that one does in fact need a comparison to other institutions to come to any meaningful conclusion. It may be possible that LANL did handle the one case badly, however it is not even clear that LANL did anything different than other organizations where something happens
and a settlement is reached. Again even if this is true in an organization the size of LANL or
a 10-15 year period there will some indictments, the question is is if the rate of incidents is
the same or lower than that of other organizations of comparable size. I would guess that it is actually lower at LANL. If this is true it is actually a bonus for LANL and UC. Again the you meed to get the proper rate for a comparison and that is the key issue, not a single case. By the way you give your self away when you say stuff like "confused and twisted world of UC/LANS ", again you are simply not able to be rational about this. Again something for you to think about.

Anonymous said...

No. Absolutely not. WRONG. People will be people. I think you know somebody who recently said that very thing.

Any large organization will have cases of sexual harassment. What matters is how the organization handles those inevitable cases. Once again, UC/LANS has failed, and failed abysmally. You know full well there was more than one lawsuit filed in just the last 5 years against UC/LANS for not stopping sexually aggressive behavior.

I never wrote "confused and twisted world of UC/LANS" (although that's actually a good summary of UC/LANS). Read what I wrote again and see if you can figure out who I was referring to. Also, you wrote "Again the you meed". Do you even read what you write?

You seem to have severe reading comprehension problems. You also have VERY poor writing skills. Just something for you to think about.

Anonymous said...

>No. Absolutely not. WRONG. People will be people. I think you know somebody who recently said >that very thing.

The point is that when you have a very large organization with many people than yes you will
end up having some kind of issue no matter how good the organization is due to human nature. I think you have understood this meaning very well but just choose to ignore it.


>Any large organization will have cases of sexual harassment. What matters is how the >organization handles those inevitable cases.

Not exactly, it also matter is the organization has created a environment where such incidents are low compared to the average. For example you can have organizations where such incidents are rampant but are handled well. Just handling incidents well is not the metric.


>Once again, UC/LANS has failed, and failed >abysmally. You know full well there was more than >one lawsuit filed in just the last 5 years >against UC/LANS for not stopping sexually >aggressive behavior.

Again you give yourself away with "Once again" so you have a clear agenda against LANL and UC. Actually I don't know if there has been more than one lawsuit, I have only heard of this one case. Perhaps there are others. As for how the case was handled, it is not obvious that it was handled as badly as you say and I doubt you have enough legal experience to say if a case has handled badly or not. These cases never look good. Also you claim "one again" I am not sure what you are talking about but I am not aware of any other case or if they where handled badly by whatever definition you claim is badly.

"I never wrote "confused and twisted world of UC/LANS" (although that's actually a good summary of UC/LANS). "

The lack of self-awareness is stunning. You just admitted that you have some kind of agenda
and are not rational about this. It is fair to say that LANS/UC has issues or problems but
saying UC/LANS are representative of a "confused and twisted world" is simply crazy. Either you know this and are being dishonest or you believe this but are simply irrational. These kind of statements kill your credibility.


"You seem to have severe reading comprehension problems. You also have VERY poor writing skills. Just something for you to think about."

This is a valid criticism of my writing but not a valid criticism of my arguments. Again your issues with LANL/UC seem to be personal and you simply cannot be rational when it comes to LANL or UC.

Anonymous said...

You are just blathering. No facts, no data, nothing. Just a mindless defense of UC/LANS by a weak attempt at obfuscation.

You have FALSLY conflated worker behavior with management responsibilities. Management influences the work environment through management actions (and inaction). In the case of UC/LANS, it was inaction that contributed to furthering a hostile environment for victims of sexual harassment. That's why UC/LANS had to settle the court cases.

I said "once again" because UC/LANS has had a long string of management failures. That's why UC/LANS is getting fired. DUH.

I'm afraid that it's YOU who exhibits a stunning lack of self-awareness. That's obvious from your ridiculously bad writing. You aren't even aware when you post pure gibberish.

Come back when you have an actual fact or some actual data from the real world - a fact like UC/LANS has been sued twice in the last 5 years. Until then, you're just spending your keystrokes proving to everyone that you're nothing but a blathering fool.

Anonymous said...

I was a victim of sexual harassment here at LLNL. I reported it to my immediate supervisor, who did nothing. I reported it to our department head, who brushed me off stating it was nothing. At the time I was divorcing my abusive husband and dealing with his stalking behavior. I didn't know what else to do regarding the harassment here, so I did nothing else. The men continued their sexual innuendos and behavior knowing there would be no repercussions for them. Yes it happens here, and we minions need to safeguard our jobs and don't know who really has our back.

Anonymous said...


"Just a mindless defense of UC/LANS by a weak attempt at obfuscation."

You are the one the made rather sweeping assertions, how is it mindless to point out that
one or two lawsuits over a 5 or more year period for an organization of the size of LANL is not
proof of anything. How is this obfuscation?


" In the case of UC/LANS, it was inaction that contributed to furthering a hostile environment for victims of sexual harassment. That's why UC/LANS had to settle the court cases."

That is a huge assertion and huge leap to come to such a conclusion. Because one case had to be settled in a five year period in a organization with 12k does not proof anything at all. You simply cannot make any conclusions from one case.

>I said "once again" because UC/LANS has had a long string of management failures. That's why >UC/LANS is getting fired. DUH."

I think you mean Bechtel getting fired and yes if you look at the incidents that led to the loss of the contract it has been on the Bechtel side of things. Your anti-UC bias is showing again.

"I'm afraid that it's YOU who exhibits a stunning lack of self-awareness. That's obvious from your ridiculously bad writing. You aren't even aware when you post pure gibberish."

Bad writing shows bad writing not lack of self-awareness. Contradicting yourself over and over as you do is an indication of a lack of self-awareness. In your case calling other posts gibberish is rather ironic and a lack of self-awareness, but it is also kinda funny.

"Come back when you have an actual fact or some actual data from the real world - a fact like UC/LANS has been sued twice in the last 5 years"

Ok you have a "fact" but you cannot do anything with this fact unless you have a proper comparison to other organizations of similar size. This is not gibberish this is just a reasoned point and you have refused to address this most basic of points. You are the one making the grand assertion so it is up to you to provide data, stating that there has been two lawsuits
is rather meaningless. I do not have the average rate per year for company of a typical size of 10-15k but 1 case every 2.5 years seems extremely low which would actually paint LANS in a very good light. In any 2 cases every five years is completely statically meaningless and no conclusion can be drawn from this. I know you will say this is blather or "gibberish" but this is just how statistics works.

Anonymous said...

"Legal Swindle": LLNL management going after sexual harassment accusers on the tax payer's dime

http://fullmeasure.news/news/cover-story/legal-swindle

Anonymous said...


9:39 AM

Did you try HR or a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

"Did you try HR or a lawyer?" If that was intended for me "I was a victim of sexual harassment here at LLNL" I did not go to HR because I didn't want to lose my job and I couldn't afford to hire a lawyer. "young and dumb"

Anonymous said...

"Did you try HR or a lawyer?" If that was intended for me "I was a victim of sexual harassment here at LLNL" I did not go to HR because I didn't want to lose my job and I couldn't afford to hire a lawyer. "young and dumb""

Are the harassers still working at LLNL or did they retire?

Anonymous said...

"Are the harassers still working at LLNL or did they retire?"

No they are no longer here, they've moved on after another 10+ years.
My supervisor at the time also left, as did the department head.
All leaving of their own accord.

Anonymous said...

It is simply not true that the harassers are not at LLNL. I was a male postdoc there and witnessed the harassment throughout my 2 year period there REGULARLY from one Group Leader. He is still firmly entrenched there because many females allowed his behavior in order to advance at the Lab. He had a direct connection, with an additional appointment as UC faculty, to a regular cadre of visiting young female UC graduate students who he touched, ogled, held hands with during late night training sessions on a regular basis - even inviting them for long term stays at his apartment to serve as their accommodations host during longer visits. In one case he even had a high school student stay at his place, and I learned later he invited her to watch porn movies. The two females that I knew who were very uncomfortable him, eventually got big promotions within the Lab as a way to quiet them. They believed they advanced on merit. He is a very smooth operator. As a big shot scientist, he in fact controlled the careers of so many postdocs, including mine. I had to suffer in silence witnessing this because I was in fear for my career. The prettiest females who were his project candidates (i.e., those who received the most attention) were always well recommended by him - and many of them allowed his wanton nature to advance their careers. It was a time of great suffering for me, and I had no recourse. These days , he is older, and the center I worked for has moved him more to a backroom role. I am glad there is a place online to sound off on this, because the suffering I went through has damaged me substantially.

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