Jun 28, 2007

UC to Pay $16.4 Million

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Journal Staff Report


A federal court judge Wednesday gave final approval to a settlement between the University of California and a group of Hispanic and female Los Alamos National Laboratory employees under which the university will pay out $16.4 million.

Two suits, eventually consolidated by court order, alleged years of gender and racial discrimination in pay disparities at the lab under the University of California's management through 2006.

About 5,500 current and former LANL employees will be eligible for payouts. The settlement will be shared by female and Hispanic employees who have worked at the lab between December 2000 and the present and who submit valid claims.

The lab previously had agreed to pay $12 million to settle the suits. An additional $4.4 million was added in the final settlement approved by U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson on Wednesday to cover attorneys' fees and other costs.

John C. Bienvenu, one of the attorneys for the employees, said in a written statement that the employees who sued "succeeded in forcing the University of California to acknowledge that it owes compensation to the women and Hispanic employees that have been treated unfairly."

But LANL has maintained it committed no wrongdoing and that any pay disparities were the result of legitimate business factors unrelated to gender or race.

The University of California ran the lab from its creation during World War II until last year. LANL is now operated by Los Alamos National Security, a limited liability corporation led by the university and Bechtel National.

Patrick D. Allen, another attorney involved in the case, said the plaintiffs had "put their own careers at risk to stand up for the fundamental right of equal pay for equal work."

Laura Barber, one of the lead plaintiffs, said: "We are confident that this settlement will send a message to the current and future operator of Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as other government contractors, that women are entitled to equal pay for equal work."

Individuals who believe they may be members of the class have 30 days to file claims. They can get information regarding the settlement by contacting the attorneys for the plaintiffs.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, we now know at least one group at LANL that will be untouchable when the layoffs hit. I've heard that the average payout this special group of people will get is about $2000 per employee. Is this correct?

Perhaps this is the only way anyone at LANL will see a pay raise in the next few years -- sue for it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, now these people cannot be laid off.

I know some of actual plaintiffs and I can assure you that they were already over-compensated.

Anonymous said...

The group that won't be laid off is the group that created this mess to begin with (as with most messes at the Lab). Yet that's the group that should have it's ass tossed out the door! But of course you'll never see that happen because the arrogant butt-head cowboy's who make such decisions will never target their own for a RIF. So why no just get over it, bozos! You got beat hands down and you damn well know it!

Anonymous said...

I agree. There are indeed some that don't deserve a nickel. How much of this payout do you suppose Rich Marquez will get?

Anonymous said...

$16.4 Million / $2000 each = 8200.

Were there that many participants in the lawsuit?

Maybe some of them are double-dipping, being both Female and Hispanic.

Or maybe the lawyers are getting 80% of the award...

Anonymous said...

"But LANL has maintained it committed no wrongdoing and that any pay disparities were the result of legitimate business factors unrelated to gender or race."

You got to be kidding me, right! You're paying out $16 million and you still can't face up to the fact LANL is a racist, sexist joint!? That place is hopeless!

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe the lawyers are getting 80% of the award..."

The article is pretty clear on this point. The attorneys got $4M, the class got $12M. The Lab's attorneys probably got $10M on top of it all (as always). So in total the taxpayer got stuffed up the rear to the tune of $20M. UC on the other hand again walks away with a smile from ear to ear, while it's whore (not pimp)--the DOE, continues to spread the taxpayer's cheeks for them. What a disgusting corporate culture LANL has evolved into.

Anonymous said...

The majority of women I work with at the Lab work very hard and are for the most part not compensated equally when thier pay status and classification is compared to their male counterparts. I am disappointed at the comments posted thus far, but it does not surprise me.The LAB got into this lawsuit to begin with because women have not been treated/compensated fairly. The comments posted thus far are a good example of the overall sentiment at LANL. Shame on all of you.
My guess is that those writing to complain about the extra compensation to women probably fit into the category of highly paid male TSMs...you guys don't have to put up with low pay and poor treatment. So get over it.
p.s. Since when is Rich Marquez a woman?

Anonymous said...

Womanizer

Rich Marquez is receiving part of the settlement for being an Hispanic womanizer.

Anonymous said...

LANL continues to be a racist workplace, and LAN's May get the same treatment if they don't watch ou>>>

Anonymous said...

Here is a whiner for you

You got to be kidding me, right! You're paying out $16 million and you still can't face up to the fact LANL is a racist, sexist joint!? That place is hopeless!

6/28/07 12:28 PM

How many of the so called Hispanics jumped on the wagon for the very reason that they knew they were not with the powder to blown them to hell but they saw an opportunity to get big bucks and save their jobs. Can I see a hand count. This underpaid female and non-white law suites is BS, How about if the white's did the same thing, which by the way would be justified. You get paid what you are worth and nothing else . Apparently these people we not pulling their own weight. What should be published is their evals five years before the suite and now afterwards. That would be fun to read and would be a strong indicator of who they are playing favorites to.

Anonymous said...

Get real poster 2:17 p.m.
You would never say that people get paid what they are worth unless you are making a fair salary for what you do.This is not the case for many at the Lab...end of story, period.

Anonymous said...

Regarding women, closing the wage gap is not just a matter of equity; it is often a matter of survival. And yet, according to the United States Census Bureau, for the same job women are paid 73 cents for every dollar men earn – a disparity that costs the average American woman some $250,000 over a working lifetime of 40 years. For Hispanic women, the disparity is even greater. We earn on average only 54 cents for every dollar men earn – which adds up to about $510,000 over the course of a 30-year career. This kind of inequity is carried into the future by discrimination in retirement pay, savings plans, incremental pay increases, and bonuses based on current/maximum rates of pay. Then in retirement -- if they are eligible for benefits at all – women receive about one-half the overall amount of pension benefits that men receive.

Anonymous said...

You go, Girl. Hit 'em with facts and not just rhetoric. Maybe they will listen and be convinced there is a real problem.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the per capita sick leave used by women (non-maternal leave only) and Hispanics and compare it to the per capita sick leave used by white males. This will give you will get a good understanding of why many women and Hispanics deserve lower salaries.

Anonymous said...

6/28/07 3:34 PM: I believe that the ability for workers to speak openly and without fear of retribution is, in fact, the essence of meaningful accountability. Without that ability, the behaviors are destined to continue. Without accountability, the mission of this institution becomes clouded by the ambitions of those in charge. And as we have seen in recent scandals involving the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the national security mission of the institution has become secondary to the desire of those in charge. Simply maintaining their positions at all costs becomes the priority, and this cannot continue without workers and the communities that surround this facility being placed at risk.

Anonymous said...

3:34 p.m. Women, of any color, take more sick leave because they take care of family. As far as Hispanics taking more sick leave, they report their use, whereas everyone knows you "white" males do not.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if the chance arises, I suggest RIFing all the MAWG TSMs who were never managers (hence have lower salaries than ex-managers doing the same job), out of the Lab and be done with it. Then bring another lawsuit against the higher paid ex-managers remaining doing TSM level work. Works for me, and I'm one of those who would be RIFed

Anonymous said...

The dumbest post of this thread...

"3:34PM Take a look at the per capita sick leave used by women (non-maternal leave only) and Hispanics and compare it to the per capita sick leave used by white males. This will give you will get a good understanding of why many women and Hispanics deserve lower salaries."

Who wouldn't get sick working in a place that treats you like second class citizens with idiots, like the poster of the above statement, in charge. And that's precisely the problem at Los Alamos National Laboratory--they're the ones in charge and they're the ones that keep screwing up things.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6/28/07 3:48 PM states that women take more sick leave than men because they are taking care of their families.

Yes, that is indeed a true statement. But, that extra sick leave diminishes their productivity at work. So, they get paid less. We are (in theory) paid for what we produce AT WORK! The fact is that many of the husbands do not pull their share of the load in dealing with sick children. But, that is a family matter, not an employer matter.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6/28/07 3:48 PM is obviously a Hispanic anti-anglo bigot!

Anonymous said...

"Yes, that is indeed a true statement. But, that extra sick leave diminishes their productivity at work. So, they get paid less. We are (in theory) paid for what we produce AT WORK! The fact is that many of the husbands do not pull their share of the load in dealing with sick children. But, that is a family matter, not an employer matter."

What in the heck?? Sick leave is a benefit given to all employees and people are entitled to use their time off. So now we are judging productivity based on how much vacation and/or sick leave people use? THere are plenty of people at LANL who use little vacation or sick leave but are some of the worse contributors and performers in their peer group.

Anonymous said...

How about this headline" LANL Admits Past Discrimination" and "Vows to Rectify Past Problems". What's that? ROFL??

To all you doubters: LANL does unfortunately discriminate. I've seen and experienced it over a 20 year career, both as a regular employee and a team leader.

To answer the mud-slinging above-

1. I have had good to great performance scores.
2. Use little sick leave.
3. My projects have been 99%successful.
4. I'm not a pain to work with.
5. People intentionally requested my work on their projects.

Why then was my salary (as a woman) low when compared to WASPs?

1. Because they could.
2. I didn't "look" like the evaluators.
3. Women are valued just a little less.
4. Negative stereotypes.
5. Mainly, no one official checked salary data with a gender/race blind method to weed out bias.

In case you think that I am spinning this info, the LANL Welch salary study which used ORC scores gave me a 5000 dollar raise. I'm not bitter, but think what I could have done with that kind of money over a 20 year period....

Anonymous said...

Woohooo
16.4m/5500 plaintiff's = net of tax $2000.00 - What about court costs?

Anonymous said...

One thing to think about also - parents with kids miss alot more of work time than couples without kids.....so it is discrimination if couples with kids receive the same pay as couples without pay - they are not pulling their weight because they are dealing with childcare and sick kids and.......

Anonymous said...

R. Marquez isn't a woman? How do you know? Oh, he's a prick? Never mind.

Anonymous said...

3:09PM & 3:13PM are dreaming if they think facts will ever convince the ass holes of Los Alamos. The only thing they respect is a good kick in the nuts and that's precisely what they just got with this 16 million slam dunk. Love it!

Anonymous said...

The lead plaintiffs actually take a big chunk up front (maybe a couple hundred thousand each). And I think that UC has to pay lawyer fees.

And I don't think the number is as high as 5500 people. Something I read said that a large number of people opted out (didn't send their paperwork in by the deadline).

And I can attest to some of the inequities. Not to me, but to several hardworking, deligent hispanic women. It happened in some cases through the change in the guard at different facilities. Look at the huge purge Tim George did at TA-55 after the Bruce Matthews realm. Anything that had anything to do with Bruce was cast off to the side and abused. And if they found something else it was not because they were wanted, but because they absolutely needed something to survive. It was a travesty that things like that were allowed to happen. But hey - they're just women right? Who should care?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lived here my whole life, my experience has been that the local Hispanics while generally hard working, they are extremely racist against anyone other than other local hispanics. They seem to feel that they are owed something just cause they are alive. And very defensive. Very defensive. There are instances of discrimination at the lab. All kinds. And all kinds are wrong. But to believe that there is a white male conspiracy is just wrong and actually does more damage than good to all involved. Just read the previous posts and see the anger

Anonymous said...

As a friend, and long time lab employee once told me, "You want to hear about discrimination at LANL? White, male, 50+ year old Bachelor of Science Physicist. That's who gets discriminated against here."

Anonymous said...

6:52 PM is correct. LANL discriminates. The WASPs always got paid more than the women. IN my old group, the male TSMs historically got typically $5-15K more raise per year than the women who were hands down the top performers and brought in the most money for the group. If the women complain, you get punished and told to work harder and take on thank-less tasks. The women who left ended up instantly getting $10-20K raises in their new organizations just to bring them up to where they should be. That in itself is telling. Unfortunately, nothing has changed under LANS and this is with women ADs.

Anonymous said...

8:47PM is free to leave the State anytime he wishes. Racism is largely an imported problem. Resentment is what he feels, from people like himself coming to New Mexico not to embrace it, but to judge it. Racism is alive and well in New Mexico, and Los Alamos is the capital in this regard. This $16 million settlement is just the most recent event to expose it, but like an iceberg represents but the tip.

Anonymous said...

In the mid 1800s the U.S. took away the southwest from a Hispanic population that had settled the area for more than 200 years earlier, rendering future generations of Hispanics largely destitute because of it. Then in the early 1940s Hispanic families were driven off the Pajarito Plateau by the U.S. government so that today the country's most affluent community (largely Anglo) could evolve it what it is today—Los Alamos. Sacred Native American lands have been violated by the Lab’s intrusion, drinking water has been polluted for generations to come, and the economic disparity between communities and people has been heightened and magnified many times over by the Lab’s segregationist accumulation of largely imported workers from outside the area. And so throughout the Lab's history there's been one legal battle after another, dealing with racial or gender bias of some sort or another. And yet despite all this there are still those who view the victims of such abuses as the problem or worse yet, somehow deserving of the mistreatment? Is it any wonder the Lab is in the condition it’s in?

Anonymous said...

Well said, 8:21.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lived here my whole life, my experience has been that the local Hispanics while generally hard working


Ha ha you funny person?

6/29/07 8:21 AM

Spill your whining bullshit. We can not retract actions that occured before our birth. We can try to correct them in our lifetimes, but this baby crap is old. Answer this question: What would NM be without the labs? A desolate wasteland of poverty.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the history of a place is important to understanding the underlying social dynamics of the people who live there.

And, to answer your question, we would have an unpolluted, attractive place to live, had we not taken the course we did back in 1942.

By the way, 8:38, you sound like an arrogant bastard.

Anonymous said...

7:51 PM Your are wrong about the placement of the kick, everyone knows that all managers lost their nuts from sitting on the fence too long.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6/29/07 8:21 AM complains about the "imported workers" at LANL. Well, do you really expect the high school dropouts of northern New Mexico to build nuclear weapons?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6/28/07 3:48 PM is obviously a Hispanic anti-anglo bigot!

6/28/07 5:29 PM
YOU FORGOT ONE THING--I MUST BE A FEMALE, HISPANIC ANTI-ANGLO BIGOT.

Anonymous said...

Since Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) taking over the contract the lack of regard to federal law is very evident. It reeks of token action and not equal opportunity for all as required by federal law. LANS contract indicates that they will be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We have yet to see any clear Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) plan and morale continues to deteriorate.

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along? - Rodney King

Anonymous said...

All it takes to keeping a nuclear weapons stockpile these days is total a lack of conscience. That's why terrorists would love to get their hands on enough material to build em'. Basically the technology is well known (thanks in large measure to those at Los Alamos). So educated and not (best and brightest notwithstanding), it doesn't take a "rocket scientist" any more to make em'.

Anonymous said...

9:19AM is right. I am an arrogant butt-head "bastard" who's been at Los Alamos way too long, hence my current arrogant butt-head cowboy view of the world. This place if full of them!

Anonymous said...

Yeah hate the anglo - the commenter who was complaining about the white man invading. It could have been the mexicans. Would that have been better?

I see all these posts bashing Anglo's and calling them racist bigots. Well making inflamatory comments about any race, YES including ANGLOS, is a racist remark. So, stop trying to have the best of both world and choose one or the other.

Submitted by a mutt of many races

Anonymous said...

It feels so good to be a "victim." Makes it so easy to blame my personal problems on someone else. That's why I keep voting Democrat, because the democrats like to pass legislation that keeps me relegated to "victim" status.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Being a victim is so convenient. I don't have to bother with negotiating a decent salary; all I gotta do is take whatever they offer me, then whine to my pandering congresspersons that I'm not making as much as the white guys.

Anonymous said...

To 8:21 AM.
The southwest was not settled by the Spanish. It was concured and thepeople who were here at the time were enslaved, slaughtered, forcably coverted to catholicism and decimated by disease brought to North America by Europeans.The second wave of immagrints-the spanish-struggledto survivelong before the " anglos" got here.They were poor because 1. This place is a desert 2.the first imagrints were trying to kill them for taking "their" land . 3. because the technology of the day was not that advanced-for everyone. and 5. Lack of support from either the Spanish government,who at the time was having alittle trouble with the British and French, or the Mexican government. So to blame the Anglo for the poverty ofthe 1700 and 1800 is abit disengenous and showsalack of understanding of history. Yes the "anglo" did some horrible things as did the Mexicans, Spanish, and Indians. The way out of poverty is to be willing to do what ever it takes-be it hardwork, education for ones self, moving somewhere where there is work. Not sitting around complaining cause you areowed something. Every social group in this country has faced discrimination at one time or the other

Anonymous said...

Just look at what the Hispanics have done it Mexico! Such a great place. Right up there with Nigeria for corruption. Mexico is not putting up a wall to keep the Anglos out!

Anonymous said...

Your behavior is disgusting!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with 7:15 PM. You pigs are disgusting and I am ashamed to be working at LANL. This dialogue proves that LANL and LANS is a sexist, biggoted, discriminatory institution and the new women in high places mean nothing. Great way to publicize improvements in zero people mistreatments.

Anonymous said...

"R. Marquez isn't a woman? How do you know? Oh, he's a prick? Never mind." 6/28/07 7:42 PM

It seems to be forgotten that MarTEEN Aguilera of McFOD is a well-compensated member of "the class". Also untouchable. His share of the settlement will be $300k. The rest of the class will receive $1950 each.

Anonymous said...

You know, what is sad is all the women at LANL who decided not to participate in the lawsuit and who are still criticized and discriminated against by the likes of Wallace and others. Terry is one of the highest at LANS who has issues with women. He recently opposed to the hiring of women at competitive salaries compared to ORNL and INEEL. He will deny this but it is true and he has tried to fire and punish any woman who disagrees with him. Way to go Boss!

Anonymous said...

I've really tried to stay out of this one - but . . . let's see, racism is an imported problem . . . hmmmm. So Hispanics and Native Americans in New Mexico accept one another and co-exist in peace. The pueblo's all love one another and are a shining example of brotherly love. Now where did you say I could find the evidence of all of this?

Anonymous said...

We all know that Anglos can be racist at times. However, what is it about many Hispanics that makes them feel that they are above being brushed with the same label? Some Hispanics in Northern New Mexico make good ol' Southern white boys look down right multi-cultural based on their racist remarks. Guys like Manny Aragon quickly come to mind.

Anonymous said...

If you want to list the racists in Northern New Mexico, don't leave out Debbie Jaramillo, Gloria Menodoza, and Chuck Montano.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I've really tried to stay out of this one - but . . . let's see, racism is an imported problem . . . hmmmm. So Hispanics and Native Americans in New Mexico accept one another and co-exist in peace. The pueblo's all love one another and are a shining example of brotherly love. Now where did you say I could find the evidence of all of this?

6/29/07 10:49 PM


Hmm - they why is there such hatred from "hispanics" towards mexicans?

(I mean "Hispanic is a mexican - indian- spanih blend)

Anonymous said...

People! This is an open blog, so (1) there are trolls about who love to make outrageous comments, (2) these trolls can be posting from anywhere the world, not just NM, and (3) most importantly, don't feed the trolls!
See Wikipedia on Trolling

Anonymous said...

The Pueblos are almost completely hispanicized these days. I doubt that you could find even one Real Indian in Pojoaque, for example.

Anonymous said...

When I was about 30 years old I learned a lesson to never compare my wages to others; it just leads to jealosy and bad feelings. And there are always others making more. Everyone cuts their own deal.

You are not a tree stuck in the ground. Get up and leave if you don't like it.

I am whiter than white and was hired by local dark Northern New Mexicans. I will be forever grateful.

Anonymous said...

At worked at LANL for 20 years before I became so unhappy that I left.

6/30/07 8:13 PM sounds like he's smarter than anybody else I knew there during that 20 years.

Anonymous said...

6/30/07 11:34 What happened. Did you just learn a new word? We're trying to have a discussion here, and if there are trolls out there interested in this blog, it can only add a little spice - though I would ask that they refrain from using profanity. Profanity is such a poor substitute for the more descriptive words in the English language. Theiruse paints a most unflattering picture of the user (and their intelligence level).

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the hispanic wailing. Like a little kid who doesn't get exactly his way all ofthe time

Anonymous said...

Reply to 7/1/07 12:51 AM, Trolling is fun sport, until you start seeing comments like 6/29/07 7:15 PM and 8:55 PM, then I start to worry that some don't understand the game. The quality of this blog in other posts has been quite high, lately. This particular post seems to have fallen into the gutter.

And if indeed this blog is getting Congressional attention, it never hurts to explain every last detail. Remember, these Congressmen have asked in open sessions why we don't just buy computers without those pesky USB ports. So they might also need clarification on Trolls and why some posts are just trash-talk and can be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Lab Legal is supposed to ensure that discrimination and people mistreatment does not happen and punish those that engage in these practices, correct? Methinks that some Lab Legal heads should roll if such a suit is being settled. Somehow the folks at Legal are never held accountable. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

"Somehow the folks at Legal are never held accountable. Why is that? 7/1/07 12:07 PM"

Lab Legal folks never do a lick of real work. When the heavy legal stuff comes along they simply hire "consultants".