FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE:
January 5, 2004
LAWSUIT NAMES UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA/LANL DIRECTOR
Today a lawsuit was filed in the First Judicial District Court of the
State of New Mexico.
Defendants named in the suit are the Regents of the University of
California, and G. Peter Nanos (Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory).
The suit alleges violations of the Equal Pay Act, the New Mexico Human Rights
Act and Constitutional rights with respect to operations at the Los Alamos
Plaintiff in the suit are Yolanda Garcia, Loyda Martinez, Gloria A.
Bennett, Ph.D., and Yvonne Ebelacker, on their own behalf and on behalf of a
class or classes of similarly situated persons; the Hispanic Round Table of New
Mexico; and the University Professional & Technical Employees, Local
Legal counsel for the Plaintiffs are Richard W. Hughes, John C. Bienvenu
and Caren I. Friedman of the Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dalstrom &
Schoenburg Law Firm located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A recent study released by LANL known as the Welch Report depicts statistically significant pay disparities for women and Hispanics. But
former HRT Chairman Chuck Montaño, himself a 25-year employee of LANL,
considers the analysis little more than an attempt to downplay the true extent
of the problem. Says Montaño, "A number of subjective variables were
plugged into the Welch analysis to rationalize away much of the disparity…a
tactic the HRT has seen LANL use before to diffuse criticism but then badly
needed reforms never materialize."
A September 18, 2003 letter from the HRT to the U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), requesting that the
agency conduct a comprehensive salary parity analysis, was followed up with
supporting letters from Senator Jeff Bingaman and Congressman Tom Udall, but to
date the OFCCP has yet to indicate whether it will do so.
UPTE President, Theresa Connaughton, states, "UPTE is about ensuring all
workers are treated fairly." In Connaughton’s view, UPTE would like to
see reforms implemented at LANL similar to those being implemented at Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory as a result of the recent settlement of the sex
discrimination lawsuit against that laboratory.
Both Connaughton and Montaño believe that without legal intervention, as
with the lawsuit that has now been filed, the University of California will not
intervene to ensure LANL takes the necessary steps to correct the myriad of
internal problems that result in inequities at LANL.
For more information contact:
Theresa Connaughton at 505-989-8337 (h) or 665-4574(w)
Charles "Chuck" Montaño 505-466-3417 (h) or 665-9573 (w)