The University of California, operator of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has reached a settlement with Protective Force Officer Matthew Zipoli and former Protective Force Officer Charles Quinones.
The Lab had fired them in September 2001, because they supported and participated in an August 2001 Protective Force Officer sickout in violation of their leadership responsibilities under a labor agreement, and because they made untruthful statements during an investigation of the incident.
In response, Quinones and Zipoli filed a grievance that was heard by an independent arbitrator. That arbitrator agreed that the Lab's reasoning behind such actions was valid, but reduced disciplinary action against only Z ipoli, who was reinstated in 2003, but not exonerated.
Quinones and Zipoli also filed a number of other actions about this same matter - with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), and in state civil court. The latter action was removed to the Federal District Court in Oakland.
The pair claimed they were fired because they were whistle blowers. The DOL investigator found no whistle blower retaliation on the part of the University or the Laboratory. Quinones and Zipoli appealed that DOL decision. The PERB accepted the arbitrator's decision as appropriate. The pair also appealed that PERB decision.
The settlement evolved out of the federal civil action but will settle all pending claims on both sides. Under the terms of the settlement, $200,000 will be disbursed among Quinones, Zipoli and their lawyers. The Laboratory will dismiss counter claims filed with PERB for improper behavior on the part of Quinones and Zipoli. Quinones and Zipoli will dismiss all related pending actions and appeals against the Lab and its managers, and Zipoli will resign from the Lab effective immediately.
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.