Former PGW Employees to Seek Class Certification in Age Discrimination Suit
July 19, 2011

Seven former Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) employees who filed a suit against the company last September alleging age discrimination intend to seek conditional class certification this fall, according to court documents filed Friday.

According to a case management order filed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania where the case is pending, the plaintiffs "have advised the court that they intend to move for conditional certification and court-facilitated notice once they have had the opportunity to take some preliminary discover, including the review of documents and information within the possession, custody and control of defendant and/or its predecessor, PPG Industries Inc."

The motion for conditional certification is due on October 3, and hearings on the motion-and any objections to it-are scheduled to begin on December 13. Plaintiffs in the case include Rudolph Karlo, Mark McLure, William Cunningham, Jeffrey Mariette, David Meixelsberger, Benjamin Thompson and Richard Csukas, who allege they were let go in March 2009 because of their ages, which ranged at the time between 52 and 58.

PGW attributed the March 2009 layoffs to "an unprecedented downturn in the world economy … " in its response to the suit. The company also has filed a counterclaim, alleging that the suit is a breach of the employees' contractual obligations with the company,and claims they are liable for "compensatory damages equal to the consideration PGW paid them in exchange for enforceable promises and releases," based on severance payments and agreements signed at the time of the employees' release.

However, the original plaintiffs have denied the allegations in the counterclaim, and say the separation agreements and releases did not "contain valid or enforceable waivers or releases of plaintiffs' claims of age discrimination."

This is one of two pending age discrimination cases currently pending against PGW. The other was filed in the same court by former employee James Freeman in November.

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