Posted October 6th, 2014.
U.S. District Court Orders Female Employees Receive Notice of their Right to Join
Equal Pay Act Class Suit Against Big Four Accounting Giant, KPMG
For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027, Jamie@newspros.com
(October 6, 2014, New York, NY) – Today, approximately 9,000 women who work or worked at KPMG between October 2008 and the present should begin receiving in their mailboxes a Court-ordered notice that details their opportunity to participate in a collective action challenging pay discrimination at KPMG. The Court-ordered Notice was mailed on October 3, 2014. After receiving the Notice, these 9,000 current and former KPMG employees will have the opportunity to submit a Consent to Join form between now and January 31, 2015 in order to join together in this suit that seeks to recover the compensation they should have been paid. KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm, boasted of a global revenue of more than $23 billion in 2013.
This notice was mailed after the Plaintiffs in Kassman, et al. v. KPMG, Civ. 1:11−cv−03743 (S.D.N.Y.) secured a hard-fought win to get the Notice approved. U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield granted conditional collective action certification after reviewing voluminous briefing from the Parties, including the vigorous opposition of KPMG. In issuing the ruling in favor of Plaintiffs, Judge Schofield noted that “Plaintiffs’ preliminary expert analysis shows that nationwide pay disparities at KPMG attributable to gender are statistically significant at more than eleven standard deviations, meaning that the probability that KPMG’s compensation could be gender neutral is less than one in one hundred million.” Judge Schofield ultimately concluded that Plaintiffs submitted evidence at this early stage sufficient to suggest that female professionals at KPMG were paid less than their male counterparts for the same work and that the female employees at KPMG might be, together with the class representatives in the case, “victims of a common policy or plan that violated the law.”
“We are thrilled with the Court’s decision that thousands of women should receive notice of their opportunity to participate directly in this suit,” said Katherine Kimpel, a Managing Partner at Sanford Heisler and Lead Counsel in the case. “For too long, KPMG got away with underpaying its hard-working female employees. Hopefully, this case can help return some of that lost income back to those women and their families. Female professionals at KPMG need not suffer alone; now they can act together to right this wrong.”
This Notice is being mailed to former and current female employees who worked in a Client Service Delivery Role as an Associate, Manager, Senior Manager, Director or Managing Director role in KPMG’s Advisory or Tax functions from October 17, 2008 to the present. The case is not limited to any particular role, division or geography because, as the Court noted, KPMG’s “compensation policies are set at high levels and applied across job titles, function groups and geographic locations.”
“To exercise her right to join with the thousands of other women receiving the Notice, any woman who wants to join must return her Consent to Join Form before January 31, 2015,” reminded Kate Mueting, a Senior Litigation Counsel at the Sanford Heisler. “Anyone with questions or concerns should feel free to contact us and we’ll walk them through the process and provide free legal advice on their options. Of course, those conversations will be confidential and privileged.” Interested individuals can reach out for information at 888-276-0622; at email@example.com or at www.sanfordheisler.com.
In addition to challenging unequal, centralized pay decisions in their suit, the Plaintiffs also challenge other discriminatory employment decisions, including discrimination in promotions, work assignments, and discrimination against pregnant women and mothers. The Plaintiffs plan to seek class certification of these systemic gender discrimination claims from Judge Schofield later in the case.
The Plaintiffs and the class are represented by Katherine Kimpel, Kate Mueting, Maya Sequeira, and Katherine Lamm of Sanford Heisler, LLP. In 2010, Ms. Kimpel served as Lead Counsel in the largest gender discrimination class action ever tried; at that trial, the Firm won a $253 million verdict from a federal jury in New York and later settled the matter.
About Sanford Heisler
Sanford Heisler LLP is a public interest class-action law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, and complex class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in some of the major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in executive compensation, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and whistleblower matters, including those whistleblower matters concerns violations of rules and regulations regarding SEC reporting requirements.