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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Ruling Expected in JPL Suit

April 01, 1993

A U.S. district judge will issue a decision within the next two days on whether there will be a trial in the $200-million lawsuit filed by a Jet Propulsion Laboratory employee who was laid off.

U.S. District Judge Lourdes G. Baird received written arguments Monday on whether JPL breached the contract of Greg Richard, an African-American mechanical engineer, when Richard was laid off two years ago.

Richard filed the lawsuit last year alleging that his March, 1991, layoff was a wrongful termination that violated affirmative action laws.

Last month, Baird agreed to a motion by JPL to dismiss all counts of discrimination, leaving only the question of breach of contract.

JPL officials maintain that Richard was laid off because of budget constraints and say they have actively recruited minorities.

Richard's lawsuit alleges that JPL hired three Anglo workers into his department around the time of his layoff and four months later advertised his old job.

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