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100 Former Lawrence Livermore Lab Employees File Complaints Alleging Illegal Age Discrimination

February 3, 2009

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ — On February 4, 2009, the Law Firm
of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer filed Complaints of
Discrimination on behalf of 100 clients against Lawrence Livermore National
Security, LLC (LLNS), the private company co-owned by Bechtel and the
University of California that operates the Lawrence Livermore National Lab,
for age discrimination in massive layoffs that took place last year. The
complaints were filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and
Housing. (DFEH).

On May 22 and 23, 2008, LLNS laid off approximately 440 employees, the
vast majority of whom were the Lab’s most senior, experienced employees.
California law prohibits discrimination in the workplace against any employee
who is over the age of 40 years old, based upon that employee’s age. Over 100
of those employees have retained Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer to
challenge the layoffs. These former Lab employees include administrative
assistants, maintenance workers, engineers and senior scientists. The 100
employees are filing individual claims that will be consolidated for trial.
This will not be a class action.

The former employees contend that they were selected by the Lab to lose
their jobs because they were older workers (over 40) who were approaching
their retirement age. As a result, these former employees are out of work at
a stage in life when finding new employment is particularly challenging. Most
of these workers will suffer a severe financial hit in the amount of
retirement income and benefits they will eventually receive because of their
forced, premature “retirement.”

The laid off workers contend that the Layoff selection process utilized by
the Lab was illegal. The former employees contend that the Lab did not follow
Federal Law by seeking voluntary separations to eliminate the need for any
layoffs.

Furthermore, approximately 94% of those laid off were over the age of 40,
making them “protected employees” pursuant to California’s anti-age
discrimination laws. The Lab ignored its own polices to target these older
workers because of their advanced salaries and approaching retirements.

Today, these targeted older workers are fighting back by filing complaints
with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the State
agency charged with enforcing this State’s anti-discrimination laws. The Fair
Employment and Housing Act prohibits age discrimination in California.

According to J. Gary Gwilliam, lead counsel for the former employees,
“It’s unfortunate that the Lawrence Livermore Lab, the University of
California and Bechtel Corporation would treat their employees in a
discriminatory manner. I don’t think the Department of Energy, with whom they
contract, would approve of such conduct. These entities should be setting the
highest standards of fairness in the workplace, not the lowest.”

Many of the 100 clients who filed their DFEH claims will be present at the
press conference to share their individual stories. J. Gary Gwilliam and

Randall E. Strauss of Gwilliam, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer will be available to
answer questions and provide copies of claims. Finally, representatives of
the Society of Professionals, Scientists & Engineers Local 11, University
Professional and Technical Employees (SPSE), the union representing many of
the laid off workers, will be present to share their perspective.

    PRESS CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 4, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
    DUBLIN RADISSON HOTEL
    6680 Regional Street
    Dublin, California
    (925) 828-7750

    CONTACT:  THE LAW FIRM OF
              GWILLIAM, IVARY, CHIOSSO, CAVALLI & BREWER
              A Professional Corporation

              J. Gary Gwilliam, Esq.
              Randall E. Strauss, Esq.
              Jane Gorelick
              Oakland, California
              (510) 832-5411

SOURCE Law Firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer


Source: newswire



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