Class Certification Sought in Age Discrimination Suit Filed Against PGW
October 12, 2011
Seven former Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) employees engaged in a suit against the company alleging age discrimination have filed a motion requesting class certification in the case, according to documents filed last week.
The original suit was filed last fall, and relates to several layoffs that took place at PGW in March 2009.
The plaintiffs claim that they and the other proposed class members “were together the victims of a single PGW decision, policy and/or plan to discriminate against older workers in a discrete, unitary, RIF.” They further allege that those laid off were “selected for termination based upon their perceived ‘adaptability,’ a factor closely linked with age.”
The plaintiffs go on to claim that of the 105 employees released from the company at the time, 54.3 percent of them were over 50. They say that the layoffs also contained a large number of employees who were 40 and older—for a total of 80 percent.
“Given the demonstrable adverse impact that the March 2009 RIF [reduction in force] had on PGW employees age 50 and older, as well as centralized nature of the decisions leading to the termination of these workers, sufficient evidence exists to support plaintiffs’ claim of a unifying discriminatory decision, practice, policy or plan that provides a factual and legal nexus between plaintiffs’ claims and those of the members of the putative class,” write the plaintiffs.
They are seeking a class that includes employees who were a member of the salaried PGW workforce, and were let go during the March 2009 RIF at the age of 50 or older.
Named plaintiffs in the current case include Rudolph Karlo, Mark McLure, William Cunningham, Jeffrey Mariette, David Meixelsberger, Benjamin Thompson and Richard Csukas, whose ages ranged between 52 and 58 at the time of the RIF.
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