Second Age Discrimination Suit Filed Against PGW
November 17, 2010

A former director of operations for PPG Auto Glass has filed a suit against his former employer, which now operates as Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW), alleging that the company violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act when it terminated his employment in 2008. The suit was filed by James D. Freeman on November 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and names both PPG Auto Glass LLC and Pittsburgh Glass Works as defendants.

Freeman, 62, says he had been with the company since 2000-and originally worked as an area depot manager for Apogee Enterprises, until it was acquired by PPG in October 2000, and ultimately became director of operations for fifteen of the company's distribution branches in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. He claims to have consistently received positive performance reviews up until his termination.

"In fact, Mr. Freeman never received a low performance rating or bad review during his entire tenure at PPG and its predecessor company-from 1983 to 2008-before he was abruptly terminated at the age of 60," writes Freeman's counsel, Bruce Fox of Obermayer Rebman Maxwell and Hippel LLP.

Freeman goes on to allege that "without notice or warning on July 19, 2008, at the age of 60, [he] was told by his supervisor … 'that his position was being eliminated,'" and that when he questioned whether it had to do with his age, he was told, "You can figure it out."

"This, Mr. Freeman reasonably took to be a candid acknowledgement by his supervisor that the decision to terminate him was based on age," reads the complaint, which also claims that, in the same timeframe of Freeman's termination, two other directors of
operations who were "60 years old or close to it," also were let go.

Freeman previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well, and is seeking reasonable monetary damages, a judgment for liquidated damages, costs and attorneys' fees, pre-judgment and post-judgement interest, and "awards such other and further legal and equitable relief as may be found appropriate."

This is the second federal suit filed in recent months alleging age discrimination against the Pittsburgh-based auto glass manufacturer. On September 30, seven former PGW employees also filed a suit against the company yesterday alleging that they were let go in March 2009 due to age discrimination. These former employees also are represented by Obermayer Rebman Maxwell and Hippel LLP.

At press time, PGW spokesperson Robert McCullough had not responded to requests for comment.

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