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Procter & Gamble faces age discrimination suit

Published Sep. 10, 2005

A Procter & Gamble Co. attorney has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the company of trying to cut costs by forcing out older employees.

Gary Hagopian, a P&G employee for 26 years, alleges in a suit filed in U.S. District Court here Wednesday that he was demoted from his job as a vice president and general counsel because the company wanted to replace him with younger, cheaper employees.

"He's a whistle-blower, in a sense," Hagopian's lawyer, Randy Freking, said of his client. "He thinks it's bad for P&G. It's just bad business."

Company officials denied the allegations, saying Hagopian has been treated fairly.

P&G announced this year that it would cut thousands of jobs to make the company more competitive and efficient. It said all eligible employees, regardless of age, were offered the same incentive packages to voluntarily leave the company.

"P&G has been nationally recognized for its work on maintaining a discrimination-free environment," said Jim Johnson, the company's chief legal officer.

Hagopian retains the title of vice president, but has been stripped of his responsibilities and much of his pay, according to the lawsuit.

Hagopian, 51, is asking for damages of more than $12-million.

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