Opinion: Dr. Younger should apologize, not celebrate his retirement, after allowing severe retaliation against employees raising concerns
He is retiring voluntarily, but he allowed continued retaliation against employees who raised valid concerns
I am the employee who initiated the 2017 class-action lawsuit against Sandia Labs for gender discrimination. I was offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle the case. I did not settle. Instead, I voluntarily walked away from the offer because it was clear that Sandia Labs was not sincere in improving the work environment for women or repairing the financial harm its female employees have suffered. It was clear, too, Sandia Labs had no sincere intention to stop retaliation against those employees brave enough to speak up against discriminatory behavior. Because I refused to settle, a similar action against Sandia can be reopened, and I encourage my former colleagues to do so.
Dr. Stephen Younger, Director of Sandia National Laboratories, announced his intent to retire on 12/31/19. While he may have significant accomplishments in his career, he deserves nothing but shame for his actions in squelching the voices of scores of women who speak up against the ongoing discrimination and retaliation at the Lab. Let him remember during all the days of his retirement the shame of turning his back and silencing the voices of his own employees who suffered harm. It is a sad end to a long career.
There was a proven discrepancy in salary between men and women. There were scores of women who contacted our lawyers and spoke up against their treatment at Sandia Labs. The large number of lawsuits against Sandia brought by women, minorities, the disabled and older employees can be verified through publicly available court documents. Many of these lawsuits are heartbreaking and the retaliation beyond egregious. The number of these suits cannot be overlooked. They continue even under the leadership of Dr. Younger.
Dr. Younger may have daughters and granddaughters, and if so, he sent them a clear message. He told them that he, himself, will not look into the concerns of women in STEM. He will allow retaliation to continue at a STEM employer. He said clearly to them that his career, as a man, is more important than any career they may ever hope to have in a STEM field as women. In short, Dr. Younger deserves shame for conveniently overlooking the heinous misbehavior of some Sandia Labs managers towards its under-represented classes of employees. By not stopping it, Dr. Younger bears responsibility for the ongoing rampant retaliation towards employees who voice all class of concerns from safety to quality to equality. By allowing Sandia to promote itself, falsely, as a good employer for diversity, Dr. Younger strengthens the career brick wall many employees of color, women, older and disabled face at Sandia Labs.
Shame on Sandia and on its latest leader for allowing discrimination and retaliation to continue unchecked and trying to stifle the voices of the women who said “This is wrong”. Shame on NNSA for not recognizing the potential security harm to the country and allowing unchecked retaliation at Sandia Labs. Shame on our Senators and Representatives for not assisting those harmed employees who reached out to you and begged for help. Silence is complicity.