• Big 4

    Nearly 900 Female KPMG Employees Have Joined the Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

    By | January 7, 2015

    As you may remember, in October of last year, 9,000 female Klynveldians were welcomed to join the class action lawsuit brought against KPMG in 2011 by former senior manager Donna Kassman. The suit alleges "systemic discrimination in pay and promotion, discrimination based on pregnancy, and chronic failure to properly investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment," according to law firm Sanford Heisler, which is representing the class action. The complaint was amended in 2012 to add additional plaintiffs.

    Accountancy Age is reporting one-tenth of those 9,000 current and former KPMGers have signed on to be a part of the suit. The remainder have until January 31, 2015 to respond:

    In response, KPMG stated: "We will not comment on pending litigation, except to say that KPMG thoroughly and repeatedly reviewed the allegations in this case and found them totally unsupported by the facts.

    "KPMG is deeply committed to the career advancement of women and confronting the challenges women too often face in the workplace, and we take very seriously any concern about discrimination or unfair treatment. KPMG is replete with and led by many talented and successful women and, as we have noted previously, diversity and inclusion have long been priorities for the firm."

    According to Sanford Heisler, KPMG has been trying really hard to make this go away, yet it continues on:

    KPMG, the Big Four Accounting Firm that boasted a global revenue of more than $23 billion in 2013, has attempted unsuccessfully to derail the litigation numerous times.  For example, on February 7, 2013, Judge Furman of the Southern District of New York handed KPMG a resounding defeat in its attempts to avoid litigation of class-wide claims.  When KPMG attempted to characterize the experiences of the Plaintiffs as isolated and insufficient to support class litigation, the Court denied KPMG’s motion and allowed the class claims to move forward.  Later, when Plaintiffs asked the Court to send Notice to the thousands of women who, according to Plaintiffs’ evidence, have been systematically underpaid for years, KPMG again vigorously opposed this motion.

    They cite expert statistical analysis that proves a pay disparity between men and women:

    That statistical analysis identified pay disparities attributable to gender that were “statistically significant” at 11.35 standard deviations (while courts only require the significance be at 1.96 or greater).  When Plaintiffs’ expert compared the compensation of men and women at KPMG, he made sure that the was comparing apples to apples.  To do that, he made sure he was only comparing the compensation of individuals doing (a) the same job in the same function; (b) in the same location; (c) with the same amount of tenure in the job; (d) and the same level of education; and (e) the same number of years of prior work experience.  Based on this careful comparison, the expert identified that KPMG paid its female employees less than their male counterparts doing equivalent work in the same job title.  According to the expert’s analysis, the probability that, despite this careful comparison, KPMG’s compensation could be gender neutral is less than 1 in one hundred million (0.00000001).  To the extent that women are doing the work of men at higher job titles, the disparities only increased.

    We will, of course, keep you abreast of any developments. No pun.

    • Childfree

      Women should be paid less than men. They are the ones who want to have children and take maternity leave for longer periods of time. And they are the ones who will end up taking more time off once having children to take the child to day care, doctor appointments, etc. ANY employee who is going to be taking time off for these activities deserves to be paid less than the employees who spend more time at the office. It just so happens that the women are the ones who take up most of the child rearing responsibilities. Having children in the modern day world has become a major disadvantage. Children suck up all your free time, take your money, and are many times very ungrateful. Before the modern financial system, children were a necessity to take care of us in old age, today, most children want nothing to do with caring for their parents. Much better investment to put money into conservative stocks and afford yourself a luxury retirement home in Florida than depend on children. That was a major rant wasn’t it?

      • You must be single!

      • herman

        I wish your parents had the same views on children.

      • Guest

        You say women should be paid less than men? Not all women have children… To discriminate against a class like that is ignorant. Obviously you don’t want children. Imagine you were a woman that had the same childless goals. Do you think it would be right for them to pay you less?

      • Rtruth12

        Please don’t ever reproduce

      • B4Senior

        Believe it or not, some people think the trade-off of having children is worth the time, money, and ungrateful attitudes. Some even see it as the motivation for their career aspirations. But have fun in Florida with the other old lonely farts… with your old timey attitude, I’m sure you’re not far off from retirement.

      • Big4Veteran

        Good trolling. +1

    • herman

      I will hire them all and start a new firm. Think of the profits for the partners when we can pay them 75% less than male employees!

      • herman

        I am sure that most of you know I meant 75% of what male employees make, not 75% less. Sorry for the error.

        • B4Senior

          FYI there’s an “edit” link on comments you’ve posted

    • FartDude

      i don’t see what the problem is.
      oh wait.

    • Another exKPMGer

      Some times I feel so lucky to have been born a white, middle class, Christian male. It’s really made my life a lot easier, I must confess.

      Seriously though, I saw a number of Senior Associates get shit on when they returned from maternity leave, the majority of which were eventually forced to leave. Of course, you can make the decision to completely ignore the child you just grew for nine months then gave birth to, I mean, that’s easy enough, amiright?

    • Derrick Rose

      they didnt lean in hard enough

    • #YourBoss

      This is just another case of sh*ty employees looking to blame their failures in life on someone else by playing some sort of minority card. All of those statistics are as worthless as the employees bringing the suit since the only thing that KPMG has to do is pull out their engagement reviews to show the whole world that they were sh*ty employees, and they won’t pay a dime.

      • CPA JD CGMA ROFLCOPTER

        But why are women getting shittier reviews on average? Clearly institutionalized sexism.

        • guest

          #YourBoss sounds like someone who has never been in the room when ratings are decided, and thinks that engagement reviews are the only thing that affects your rating.

          Back when I was actually in the room for these things, the partner could and did either add or subtract an entire point from someone’s ratings, based purely on his subjective opinion. White men tended to get rounded up, and all others rounded down. I saw which way the winds blew at that firm, and got the hell out.

    • TimV

      the saving grace is that theres this same discrimination for everybody, not just females!

    • Bomo69

    • guest

      You forgot to report that a lot of current employees tend to wait until just before the deadline, so they can suss out what their colleagues are doing. (No one wants to face retaliation alone!)

    • exkpmg

      someone should have also filed an age discrimination class action against them The size of that group would have been in the thousands