As Jerry Bergman puts it, “Poetic Justice for A Darwin Skeptic: JPL Sued For Discrimination and Forced to Pay Out 10 Million Dollars in Restitution to Former Employees:”
Twelve years ago, David Coppedge was a proud member of a large team of scientists that made space science history. Specifically, he was for 14 years an information technology specialist at Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL), a division of Caltech (California Institute of Technology). Coppedge was also the Team Lead System Administrator for the Cassini Mission for nine years. Cassini was a collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency to send a probe to study Saturn, its rings, and its moons. The program was named after the Italian mathematician Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625 –1712) and was the largest outer-planet mission ever conducted by NASA and JPL.
Coppedge occasionally approached co-workers with whom he had worked with for years, each of whom he had considered a friend, to invite them to discuss and view science DVDs about intelligent design. Coppedge thought that “If JPL can talk about life evolving by chance, then employees should have the freedom to present scientific evidence for alternative views like design. Many times during work hours I had gone to JPL lectures presenting a naturalistic origin and evolution of life.” It turned out that a naturalistic origin and evolution of life was the only view allowed to be discussed at JPL.
On April 13, 2009, as a result of loaning DVDs on intelligent design to his co-workers, Coppedge was accused of violating Jet Propulsion Lab’s (JPL) harassment and ethics policies. As a result, he was slapped with a Written Warning for violating both JPL’s Unlawful Harassment Policy and their Ethics Policy. Furthermore, he was demoted from the Team Lead position he held for nine years.Jerry Bergman, “JPL Sued for Discrimination” at Creation-Evolution Headlines (January 22, 2022)
Coppedge was later fired under brutal circumstances, as Bergman documents.
And so now:
Almost a decade later, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after a careful investigation, ruled JPL was guilty of discrimination—age discrimination. As a result of a class action lawsuit, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory agreed to pay $10 million in fines and damages, and make changes in the way hiring and promotions are handled in an effort to combat their discriminatory practices regarding age of employees.
The EEOC’s research concluded that JPL systemically laid off employees over the age of 40 in favor of retaining younger employees and, furthermore, older employees were often passed over for rehire in favor of less qualified, younger employees. The statement from attorneys involved in the settlement echoed what technology-related-industry employees have for years claimed about older workers facing age discrimination. Evidently JPL lawyers felt that the evidence EEOC had collected was very compelling and they would not prevail, so they settled for $10 million.Jerry Bergman, “JPL Sued for Discrimination” at Creation-Evolution Headlines (January 22, 2022)
Well, people who study the movements of the planets should know this: What goes around, comes around.