Sunday, August 14, 2005

Re: Anonymous Posting

From Anonymous:

Most of the discussions regarding anonymity have overlooked an important constituency -- the thousands of contractor employees and local merchants who do business with LANL. Many of you out there worry about what your group or Division Leader might do if they caught you reading the blog, or could trace one of your comments. As a member of the not-employed-by but immediately-affected-by LANL group, I can tell you that the rest of us stakeholders are keenly aware that the due process you are entitled to (which apparently doesn't always occur) as a condition of your employment, does not in any way extend to protecting the expression of our views and opinions.

Please keep an avenue open for posting anonymous comments.

Comments:
"I can tell you that the rest of us stakeholders are keenly aware that the due process you are entitled to (which apparently doesn't always occur) as a condition of your employment, does not in any way extend to protecting the expression of our views and opinions."

Due Process? Todd Kaupila and John Horne can tell you all about our right to due process at LANL.
 
Although, New Mexico is a "employment at will" state, the existence of the LANL Policy Manual gives UC employees some assurance of a due process for discipline and termination. This is not at all true for contract personnel, many of whom are trying to get on as UC employees. They cannot afford to be seen to be in any way militant. They can be terminated with zero notice!

As far as the UC employees, there are lots of subtle ways to deal with employees without being "caught" retaliating. Trust me: having worked at LANL for 20 years, I could teach a course in this.

We need the capability of anonymous posts and comments!
 
8:40,

The fact that Todd and John's right to due process was ignored does not mean it didn't/doesn't exist. I'm sure that one basis of future legal action will be the violation of this right. And LANL/UC will lose.
 
10:44-- You are correct but, it is a long, arduous, and expensive task to fight for your rights once they have been violated. The fact that LANL and UC violate their policies at will does not negate the difficulties of the fight. LANL employees should not be subject to the abuse in the first place. It is a question of ethics, not process.

John Horne
 
Remember that your collegues will have been cautioned if not threated not to speak to you.
You will be isolated in a remote
location.

The allegations against you may be proposterous, and totally false, but in the end you will be admonished because the false charges were leveled against you by you management and all the trouble/money you caused UC/LANL/DOE to spend investigating your case. If you come back clean
as a whistle like I did, my group leader and HR person went back to AA to see what other charges could be trumped up. ie. You were in a position for 5 years that you were not 'qualified' to be in!!
I really hate to admit in this forum that storming Pete Nanos and Pete Dominici's office finally exonnerated me.
I will name names and specifics next post.
 
Yes, and...the management will have issued global email informing the world that you are in fact GUILTY of Waste Fraud and Abuse. This is America I thought. At LANL you are guilty until proven innocent, then it's a "Gee Sorry We Were Wrong About You." Do not bother to ask for a statement clearing your name, you have to go to court for that. Good Luck.
 
7:40-
I'm glad to hear you were exonerated. But the same two Pete's are guilty of the same kind of attack you describe in our case.

John
 
John,
Alot of the folks out there have no idea how vicious and vindictive this Lab can be. No one is in "your corner" you are a parrahia to be despised and avoided. All you need is one manager who does not like you. Again, next post I will name names and specifics.
 
Although, New Mexico is a "employment at will" state, the existence of the LANL Policy Manual gives UC employees some assurance of a due process for discipline and termination. This is not at all true for contract personnel, many of whom are trying to get on as UC employees. They cannot afford to be seen to be in any way militant. They can be terminated with zero notice!

"As far as the UC employees, there are lots of subtle ways to deal with employees without being "caught" retaliating. Trust me: having worked at LANL for 20 years, I could teach a course in this. We need the capability of anonymous posts and comments!"

Why do you think the UC, DOE, NNSA are contracting the two labs out. I have been there for 22 years and have often said, "its a good thing I am not the boss". I would have fired at least 50 % of the employees and accomplished the very same mission. The labs are full of what I call "no loads" and glorified welfare recipients. You can even see it in the new graduates who come to the labs to work for the summer. The work ethics suck. Under the new contractor you will be expected to give eight hours work for eight hours pay and I know for a fact that this is going to be hard for the mass majority of you. There will be no union or hiring rights to protect you. It will be the "real world" where you can be fired on a monemts notice with no course of rebuttal. So get use to it. The gravy train ride is over. You either do your job to the best of your ability daily, or hit the rod. Its your choice.
 
To: Anonymous : 8/16/2005 05:27:33 AM:

What does your comment have to do with the need for anonymous posts on this blog? I note that you have posted anonymously.

I don't know what LANL organizational unit employs you, but your statements regarding the work ethic of LANL employees are out of line. Yes, in any organization where 12,000 individuals get a pay check there will be some slackers. BUT, having worked there for more than 20 years, I cannot agree with what you say. There are quite a few individuals who work far more than the required 40 hours per week.

And, as a GL, I can tell you that the due process provided by the Policy Manual never inhibited me from dealing with the few bad performers that I had.

I think that we all will agree with your statement that "its a good thing I am not the boss".
 
Anonymous postings provided a venue for thoughts and ideas unrestrained by the possibility of retaliation. That venue might be misused by miscreants who spew their venom but that in itself does not detract from the utility of the venue itself no more than road rage detracts from the usefulness of the interstate highway system. The decision to reintroduce anonymous postings is a good decision.
 
...or what about the poor person who was recently put on investigative leave for the aqua regia incident? Did this individual have due process or was it guilty until proven innocent?
 
"..or what about the poor person who was recently put on investigative leave for the aqua regia incident?" Three comments: (1) Investigative leave is just that -- investigative, (2) the why does the poster say "poor person"? There was a serious breech of proceedures in this ridiculous accident, and the blog poster seems to have already decided it was no one's fault, and (3) Why does the blog believe they can investigate this event better than DoE with a type B? Wow....
 
"Why does the blog believe..."


Now, that must sound a little naive. Stupid, even. Perhaps even, in retrospect, to the author.

--Doug
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Doug has made the same mistake that many in LANL management have made. Either Doug doesn't understand internet technology or assumes that most of us don't and then creates pointles or bad polices. The internet is inherently anonymous and there is almost no way to identify some one if one takes the proper precautions. One, it is so easy to get email accounts. Two, it is so easy to hide your IP and or MAC addresses. The easiet way to hide your IP is to use Tor and Proxy, see http://secureme.blogspot.com/2005_01_01_secureme_archive.html, "No SSH server, no problem!". So Dougs threat of tracing your IP is meaningless! Even if he did have the time for such exercises. It would just be easier to delete the post. Which is what I expect will happen to this one. Summary, identification is voluntary, and thus even posted comments that are not anonymous are easily falsified.
 
My, aren't you clever, mr. anonamail. You appear to have way too much time on your hands.
 
In my opinion, investigative leave is purely punative, especially when the other side of the story hasn't been looked into. All we know is 2 PDs inhaled fumes and got sick. The institution automatically assumed the supervisor was at fault, probably based on the PD's initial testimony. The supervisor hasn't recieved due justice, but it's guilty until proven innocent, you get sent home..........

What ever happened to personal accountability? For God's sake, these are 2 highly educated PhDs (chemists, I assume) who should know the risks and potential health effects of aqua regia! If you're going to send the supervisor home, then send the 2 PDs home as well while the Type B proceeds. I didn't say it was nobody's fault but we (LANL) automatically determined it was the TSM supervisor!--hence I said "poor supervisor." Wow...
 
Anonymous blogging is essential for this site. Not only do people have to worry about being fired by their managers for what they say -- and not just the contractors --- they also have to worry about what their co-workers and what they think. Sometimes co-workers will try to gain favor from management by picking on anyone who dissents from the boss's view.
Due Process is just that. It doesn't guarantee that you will be found guiltless and reinstated. This almost never happens. It just means that LANL has to go through a set of formal review processes before firing or disciplining you. Due Process rarely helps the employee, it just helps LANL stay out of court. Contractors, of course, have no right to Due Process.
LANL is a tough-minded organization and is completely amoral in the way it treats its employees. If it breaks the law, employees can sue for reinstatement and back wages, but contractors usually have no grounds for such lawsuits. Nor do LANL employees still in their "probabionary" period which is 2 years for TSMs.
Suing LANL costs a fortune and it is very, very difficult to get an attorney to take your case on contingency because he/she must eat as well and cannot afford to work for nothing unless the case is a sure win.
In my opinion, Todd had an excellent case. Probably his widow does as well, but many people are unable to pursue their cases because they simply can't find an attorney who can afford to do it on contingency and they don't have enough savings to cover the cost of the case through years and years of appeals by LANL.
 
It sounds like you've been through this yourself 12:47. You are absolutely right in your analysis of the situation.

John Horne
 
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