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Livermore lab employees get $2.7 in termination suit

New developments in California's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory wrongful termination controversy has yielded a $2.7 million judgment for the first five employees' cases. The suit has been broken up into a series of groups instead of simply representing all plaintiffs in a class-action format. The employees alleged they were wrongfully terminated during a massive layoff process at the lab in May 2009.

A jury ended the two-month trial by deciding that laboratory administrators wrongfully targeted older employees with tenure at the facility. Their employment was terminated without just cause, prompting the massive judgment.

Initial documents in the case had been filed several years ago. About 130 laboratory employees argued they were unfairly laid off during the cuts. Lab officials said they were simply trimming programs because of declines in federal funding and general economic malaise throughout the country. A significant portion of the laboratory was dedicated to research about nuclear weapons, which have become less relevant in the modern warfare debate.

Analysis shows the average age of workers fired during the layoffs was 54, prompting employees to nick-name the layoffs "Gray Day," according to news reports.

The five plaintiffs in this case were the first to have their wrongful termination cases heard in the courts. A judge had ordered the massive case load to be split into more manageable units. It is hard to say whether this judgment portends success for future endeavors, though the success of this first case has left many hopeful.

Scores of Americans suffer from illegal treatment at work each year. Many are fired without just cause, endure stressful sexual harassment or experience other violations of their personal rights. If you have suffered a workplace injustice, you do not have to suffer alone. A qualified employment attorney can help you learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities, helping you get the money you deserve because of your complaints.

Source:  www.contracostatimes.com, "Lawrence Livermore Lab must pay five former employees $2.7 million" Paul T. Rosynsky, May. 10, 2013

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