PGW Requests Summary Judgment in Age Discrimination Suit
November 18, 2011
Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) has filed a motion for summary judgment in the claims of disparate impact and collective action in an age discrimination suit filed against the company last year in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The plaintiffs in the case include seven former employees who allege they were let go in March 2009 due to their age and are seeking class certification.
One of the main claims made in PGW’s brief supporting the motion is that the terminations named in the case “were not a single company-wide decision.”
“As a result, there is no basis for maintaining this case as a collective action because plaintiffs have been unable to support their baseless allegations that they and other potential plaintiffs are similarly situated,” writes PGW.
PGW further claims that the plaintiffs “cannot establish that they have a claim for age discrimination on an adverse impact theory … [and] have not, and cannot, establish that they are similarly situated to any of the potential other plaintiffs they would purport to include in a collective action.”
Likewise, company officials say “there is no factual support in the record for plaintiffs’ claims that PGW violated the [Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)] by engaging in intentional discrimination based on age or utilizing policies or practices that had a disparate impact on older employees.”
They also claim that at the time of the March 2009 reduction in force, the company started with 862 salaried employees, the average age of which was 47.7 years old. One hundred and five of these were terminated, the average age of which was 49.4 years old, according to PGW—leaving behind 757 employees with an average age of 47.5.
“Applying to this population the generally accepted statistical analysis methods outlined … reveals that there is no statistically significant evidence of age discrimination,” writes PGW.
In addition to the request for summary judgment, PGW also has filed a response in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification, following the same argument noted in the request for summary judgment. “Additionally, and inconsistently, [plaintiffs] have now asserted that notwithstanding their claim of individual intentional discrimination by their own local manager, they should also represent a class of employees terminated at the same time by entirely different managers, at different locations, in different business units,” writes PGW. “ … Plaintiffs’ quest to form a class lacks a coherent intellectual foundation.”
The company continues, “Plaintiffs seek to impose an enormous burden on PGW merely because it responded to the greatest economic in crisis in recent memory with wholly plausible and reasonable measures.”
The court had not yet ruled on the motions for conditional certification or summary judgment at press time.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.