In light of his being fired in January, David Coppedge’s discrimination lawsuit against Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been amended to allege wrongful termination.
We covered this story when it first broke, explaining that Mr. Coppedge was fired after serving on NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn since 1997. JPL of course claims the firing resulted from downsizing in the face of budget issues, but Coppedge was one of the most senior members of the team that oversees the computers on Cassini. It doesn’t seem like he’d be the first person who would normally be forced to leave in such a situation. Most likely, Coppedge’s departure resulted from the fact that he filed a lawsuit in April 2010 alleging discrimination because he was demoted for expressing a pro-intelligent design view at JPL and then banned from talking about ID. Sadly, Mr. Coppedge is now out of a job — but his lawsuit has been amended to allege retaliation in light of the firing, as well as wrongful termination. As the second amended complaint now states:
Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendants, and each of them, terminated Plaintiff?s employment based upon the belief and pretext that he was engaged in religious activity by discussing ID and handing out DVDs concerning ID and other protected activity. Defendants, and each of them, and were actually and constructively aware of the hostile environment created by said individual Defendants at all the times alleged herein.
The second amended complaint can be found here.