University of California

Los Alamos, NM: (Jun-28-07) A group of Hispanic and female employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory filed a class action lawsuit against the University of California, which ran the northern New Mexico weapons lab, alleging that they faced discrimination against women and Hispanics in pay, promotion, and educational opportunities.

In a settlement reached, the University of California agreed to pay $16.4 million to about 5,500 current and former lab employees. The settlement covers female and Hispanic employees who have worked at the lab between December 2000 and the present and who submit valid claims. The lab denied any wrongdoing but officials said they decided to settle the case to avoid costly litigation that would have taken potentially years to reconcile. The lab previously agreed to pay $12 million to settle, but an additional $4.4 million for attorneys' fees and other costs was added in the final settlement approved by US District Judge William P. Johnson. [MERCURY NEWS: EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION]

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