University of California Regents today approved a tentative settlement agreement in Jennings (formerly Singleton) v. Regents, a class action lawsuit at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory alleging gender disparities in pay and promotion.
The terms of the settlement, which must still be approved by Alameda County Superior Court, allow for $9.7 million in damages; $80,000 to be distributed to seven class representatives; and up to $8.2 million in attorney fees (the actual amount to be determined by an arbitrator); and a one percent pay increase to all currently employed class members.
When the lawsuit was originally filed in 1998, attorneys for the plaintiffs claimed that the potential damages could range between $250-$500 million. They sought damages on behalf of a single class of women dating back to October 1988 based on five separate legal claims.
However, subsequent court decisions dismissed two of these claims, and the plaintiffs dropped a third claim. In addition, the single class was divided into 13 categories or subclasses, and the court limited potential damages to December 1996 and later. The court ordered that each subclass must have its own representative. Only six representatives were found.
The settlement amount will be distributed, as determined by the court, among approximately 3200 women who were employed at the laboratory during the six-year period. Approximately 2,522 women, currently employed at the Laboratory, will also receive the one percent pay increase.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Laboratory news releases and photos are also available electronically on the World Wide Web of the Internet at URL http://www.llnl.gov/PAO and on UC Newswire.