The Dave Coppedge Trial: Continued

David Coppedge’s Employee Contribution Assessment and Planning reveals quite a lot about JPL’s action which lead to his removal in January 2011.  From my own person experience on this matter, a company generally follows a particular pattern when they want to get rid of someone from a position or the job itself.

Here are some real-life examples that vary in nature but have the same results…

Let’s start with worker A,  who had been getting the maximum amount of payouts on bonuses for a number of years despite the fact, he was known to work only 3 hours while the rest of the time he milked the clock.  Then one day, his boss was called into a meeting and upper management told her she would need documentation for further maximum payouts of bonuses.

Next, upper management decided to change worker A bonus by 2 percent which was a significant amount of money.  Worker A was furious, he complained to his boss and had some harsh things to say about upper management. In the past, this tactic worked, but not this time. This is when things changed for him. They extended his responsibilities and required him to do more training. He began to get very bad reviews, and then they put him on probation. Knowing his time with the company was coming to an end, he quit.

Worker B, he moved to another state in order to start a new life, and leave behind a very shady past that had many rewards such as owning his own airplane but he came close to death a few times. He started at the bottom, the company loved him and he loved the company! It was a match made in heaven at first. He worked hard, the company made him the standard on how his job was to be done by others and it still is even to this day.

Years later, he got his first promotion! For the first time in his life, he was making good money the legit way and he couldn’t have been more excited on what was happening with his life. He married his girlfriend which started a new chapter in his life. He worked under worker A, but never got the bonuses like he did even though he worked more.  He got his second promotion after years of hard work. He was completely overjoyed and thankful. But after that, things began to change him too, unlike worker A, there was no drama with management with him. However, management began to change their behavior towards him. For years, he got rave reviews for his work performance during his promotion and before that time as well then upper management started changing his reviews, crossing out things his boss had written positive in his review.

Speaking of his boss, management was riding him intensely too, he felt his days were coming to an end with the company and hated the way he had to treat the workers. Eventually his boss was fired. Then one day upper management told worker B, that further training was required of him if he wanted to keep his job and then expanding his job duties like for no other who held that same position while demoting him.  He could do no right, even though he performed well according to others who were more experienced than he was and accomplished more than any other in that same position. His job reviews continued to be negative towards him despite the fact he was trying to work as hard as he could unlike worker A, he didn’t want to quit. One day it finally happened, they walked him out the door, the company claimed it was because of the economic downturn.  Sound similar?

Worker C, he also very good with his job, often times complained about the other shift undermining his fixes, he continued to turn out good work. Unlike the previous two workers, there was no behavioral change by management, no drama whatsoever! They just walked him out due to the economic downturn.

Obviously, the company had it in for workers A and B for various reasons, it reminds me of how Dave Coppedge was treated! JPL acted in a similar fashion when management no longer wanted him around because he wasn’t hiding his views on intelligent design while others didn’t have to ask him permission when they wanted to mock his viewpoint. Change the reviews, make it look like you can’t do anything right, emphasis errors and  get rid of you.  That’s exactly what JPL did and it’s a pattern in which I have observed first hand in company operations.  But unlike workers A and B, Dave Coppedge took JPL to trial and the outlook looks great!

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8 thoughts on “The Dave Coppedge Trial: Continued

  1. From my own person [sic] experience on this matter, a company generally follows a particular pattern when they want to get rid of someone from a position or the job itself.

    Michael, you spin some entertaining stories. However, none of them comports with any facts or allegations in this case. Here’s the two scenarios we have from the court papers and witness depositions so far.

    (1) Worker A is doing good job and getting good reviews over a period of years. He is even given added responsibilities. However, when he begins to express a number of personal views, including religious views, his coworkers mock him and management tells him to lay off distributing DVDs, and even to quit discussing religion or politics altogether during working hours. Even though he tries to comply with these discriminatory restrictions, management demotes and then fires him.

    (2) Worker B is technically competent, but the people he serves find it difficult to work with him because of his attitude and/or lack of interpersonal skills. His managers receive complaints over a period of years. Believing the situation can be corrected, the managers assist B and give him good reviews so he won’t lose his job before they can whip him into shape. But the situation, and the complaints, continue, and even take on a new character. Management now tries to ease B into a different position—to unload him on someone else. They continue the positive reports, because no one would want to take on a loser. But, when the other projects start to dry up, this plan becomes unfeasible. The only remaining way to get rid of B now is to fire him altogether. To justify this action, they need to make B look defective. Demotion and a few bad fitness reports should work—either to fire him outright or at least to put his neck on the staff-cut chopping block.
    .
    If you can dig up any support for your hypotheticals in the record, let me know. Otherwise, they’re just overly embellished fairy tales, and you could have saved the effort.
    Oh, wait. Here’s another scenario. Worker C is doing a crackerjack job, and gets good reviews. But he and his managers know that he’ll get laid off soon from budget cuts. So they conspire together to get C fired, and to give him a case for discrimination. C wins the suit, and everyone is happy. C ends up with a stash of cash, and the managers have met their obligation to cut staff.
    Makes as much sense as your stories, Michael. And it fits right in with your proclivity for conspiracy theories, and knack for assuming conclusions with no evidential support.

  2. Eelco,

    Funny article…

    “In 2003, when a JPL Christmas Party began to be referred to as a Holiday Party, Coppedge objected. He testified Wednesday, that while change to a Holiday Party accounted for the agency’s diverse population, it did so at the expense of Christians like himself.”

    Lookout, objecting to a change in name of a religious party, must be a problem employee…lol

    Here is another…

    “Coppedge acknowledged that he failed to disclose his sale of DVDs, as well as earnings from the business to the Internal Revenue Service or JPL as required by the science laboratory’s policy.”

    Maybe JPL will sue him on tax evasion. lol

    “Coppedge testified that Chin told him not to engage in political and religious discussions unless co-workers broached the subjects.”

    Let’s see his co-workers could talk about it first but he couldn’t unless they engaged him first…That’s another way of obtaining permission to speak.

    This would have been reflected through out the years in his work reviews.

  3. But of course Michael did not cite this part of the newspaper article I referred to:

    “But Zapp said co-workers characterized Coppedge as confrontational and stubborn well before the 2009 incident with Chin. As far back as 2004, his co-workers described him as difficult to work with, a micromanager and someone who was “quick to say no,” according to testimony Wednesday.”

    And of course one on three people working on Cassini received a ‘pink slip’.

  4. Olorin,

    You say, “If you can dig up any support for your hypotheticals in the record, let me know. Otherwise, they’re just overly embellished fairy tales, and you could have saved the effort.”

    You need a life, writing about something you have no clue about, telling people you were some sort of lawyer for 40 years, then writing to a 15 year old with a misleading statement that you studied science for 50 years for a career so it sounded more like you were some sort of scientist is crazy.

    Worker A, was a minority

    Worker B, was a minority

    Worker C, was not

    I haven’t concluded it was racism or if racism played a part, that was your assumption, but what I do know is, when management doesn’t want you around, they do certain things to get rid of that person and JPL did similar things in which I experienced first hand.

  5. Eelco,

    Many bosses get accused of that all the time! lol. They are not considered, “problem employees” because of those accusations. I will cite this eyewitness instead, his boss during that time (2004) in which was mentioned in the article…

    Burgess who wrote in his work review…

    “had many difficult customers” but could “deal with them and understand their problems to such a degree that they’re all working together now towards a common goal” (2004-2005). “Most on the Cassini Project have good words for David,” with one unnamed exception who has “some reservations.” In any event, in light of his overall performance, “This is working out well now” (2005-2006).”

    That article is referring to that one exception. Again, this is not something one would call, a problem employee.

  6. You need a life, writing about something you have no clue about, telling people you were some sort of lawyer for 40 years, then writing to a 15 year old with a misleading statement that you studied science for 50 years for a career so it sounded more like you were some sort of scientist is crazy.

    Believe what you like. You will anyway. You have my CV from several years ago. One thing is for sure, Michael. You are abysmally ignorant in all the subjects that you address in this blog: science, philosophy, history—even theology! And in the English language as well. Eelco, who is not a native English speaker, outclasses you.
    .

    I didn’t say that your scenarios didn’t happen somewhere at some time, but only that they have no relation to any facts or allegations in the Coppedge case.[1] If we have no reason to believe those situations arose at JPL, why drag them in? From my 30 years of experience at IBM [2] and 12 years as a large private law firm, I’ve been inside a lot more cases of this kind than you have.

    Michael, here again, you are in way over your head. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    =============

    [1] You didn’t even allude to the minority issue in your scenario descriptions. How is the reader to intuit that this was an element? We didn’t even know this salient fact until you said—

    Worker A, was a minority

    Worker B, was a minority

    Worker C, was not

    I haven’t concluded it was racism or if racism played a part, that was your assumption,

    If you’re going to tell a story, you should at least include the pivotal facts.

    [2] At a facility with 8,000 employees. .Because of the IPL department’s relation to general legal for the location, I was privy to situations arising anywhere at the facility.

  7. I had said earlier that a jury, not the judge, would decide Coppedge’s claim. He had originally asked for a jury trial (see “voir dire” court papers in the recored). However, news article today, marking the end of the trial, say that coppedge has relinquished his right, and that the case will be decided by Judge Hiroshige himself.

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