LANS responds to Irving lawsuit

-A A +A
By Tris DeRoma

Attorneys for Los Alamos National Security have responded to a 2016 lawsuit from a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee where he said he was discriminated against because of his age and a prior lawsuit he filed against the company in 2013.
The employee filed the new suit in April. Los Alamos National Security is the company that manages and operates LANL.
“Defendant (LANL) has discriminated against the plaintiff by subjecting him to a hostile work environment, denying him promotional opportunities and promoting a younger, less experienced individual, interfering with his ability to perform his job duties and by giving plaintiff a negative evaluation and significantly reducing his promotional opportunities and merit raise,” said his attorney, Donald Gilpin, in the lawsuit.
In his suit, the employee, Michael Irving, also claims that he was passed over for a promotion because of what was contained in the prior lawsuit he lodged against Los Alamos National Security in 2013.
The 2013 suit was about a complaint Irving made to his management about how rules concerning VIP visits weren’t being followed. Irving said as a result of his complaint, management called him a “troublemaker” and had him “removed from his security oversight role with regard to VIP visits,” Gilpin said in Irving’s new lawsuit.
Irving also claims he was demoted two steps.
The 2013 lawsuit was dismissed in 2015 because the judge felt that Irving didn’t pursue every “reasonable avenue” in resolving his issues with management.
In his new lawsuit, Irving and his attorney alleged Security created a new supervisory position, and then promoted the younger, less experienced person, who also happened to be one of the people Irving complained about to security, to be Irving’s supervisor.
An employee reached at the Gilpin law firm was asked to provide the Monitor Irving’s age, but said they could not release that information.
Gilpin also claims that the supervisor made Gilpin’s job more difficult through interference and limiting what he could do.
Irving has been employed by the laboratory since 2006 and is now a “security manager 4.”
The lab replied to Irving’s new lawsuit July 5, denying several allegations in the complaint, including the main one that he was discriminated against.
“Defendant denies... the assumption contained therein that LANS (Los Alamos National Security) ‘created a new position’ in 2014 that was subject to the application process and that LANS refused to allow plaintiff to apply,” said attorney Ellen Casey, an attorney for Los Alamos National Security.
Casey also said in the lawsuit that Irving has again failed to “exhaust administrative remedies” with management before filing another lawsuit against LANL.
Irving is suing for lost wages, benefits, mental anguish and humiliation, punitive damages and the cost of legal fees.
 No date for a trial has been set.