UPDATE: This case has been settled. Details below. Christopher Cotter is a 52-year-old Houston man who “suffers from peptic inflammatory disease and labile hypertension," according to a complaint filed against the Big 4 firm formerly known as Ernst & Young in a Southern District of Texas court on August 5th. In layman's terms, he has […]
Maybe PwC should consider pulling up the stakes in Tampa:
A Muslim who was a PricewaterhouseCoopers senior manager was interviewed for an article about diversity in a company newsletter and then fired when he criticized his employer, his federal lawsuit says.
Issam Azziz, 37, w pany’s Tampa office, filed suit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court, alleging the company, now called PwC, discriminated against him because of his faith and race.
“What happened to me should not happen to any other person,” Azziz said in a news conference outside federal court. “They’ve gone out of their way to destroy my life.”
PwC has responded that “this lawsuit is without merit” (which I think is taught on the first day of Corporate Communications 101) and wouldn’t tell me much else but you get the feeling that this whole story is a bit of a dog and pony show. First of all, the press conference held by Mr. Azziz included appearances from his lawyer, Peter Helwig, the Tampa Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations and Ahmed Bedier, “a civil rights activist” which seems to indicate that this was a well oiled PR offensive. Secondly, this press conference occurred less than a week after PwC told Tampa and the State of Florida to shove their subsidies. You don’t have to be too clever to put that one together.
Anyway, you can watch clips of the conference here and here (no embed code, sorry). If you watch the video, Mr. Azziz alleges (through the words of Mr. Bedier) that the company’s “fraternity mentality” that includes “overnight partying, binge drinking and gambling” feels a little hyperbolic but whatever. I spoke to Hassan Shibly, the CAIR representative that appeared with Mr. Azziz but he declined to go on the record. Peter Helwig has not yet returned my call.
The other little twist is that you get from the story is that Azziz claims that after he found another job, PwC got wind of it and were the ones behind his dismissal from that firm:
The lawsuit claims the company orchestrated his firing from a second firm that later hired him and has effectively blackballed him from getting any other job in his profession.
The company “retaliated against (Azziz) in reprisal for his opposition to (PwC’s) racial discrimination against persons who are Muslim or of Arab ethnicity,” the suit says.
Maybe I’m just not as paranoid as I used to be but a firm like PwC going out of its way to blackball one person seems like a stretch. I understand that this is Florida and I’m not a Muslim (i.e. they aren’t exactly popular with some people) but COME ON. PwC is far more interested in ruining the lives of its current employees – it’s called client service.
Suit accuses PricewaterhouseCoopers of discrimination against Arab-American [SPT]
PricewaterhouseCoopers discriminates, suit states [TBO]
PwC Decides It Doesn’t Want $1.1 Million in Free Money From Tampa After All
There Appears to Be Some Fuss About PwC Tapping $2 million in Subsidies Once They Spend $78 million and Hire 200 People
Last year we told you about Colin Tenner who was suing PwC on the grounds of disability discrimination. If you remember, back in 2009 Tenner was told his services were no longer needed after he took some sick time due to depression and severe stress that was a result of a client he was serving and his bosses inside P. Dubs. Tenner’s fellow partners allegedly weren’t impressed by this pansyness, as one partner said “real partners don’t get sick.”
While the judge in the tribunal said that some of these partners “were clearly at the end of the queue when tact and sensitivity were being handed out,” it wasn’t enough to constitute discrimination and Tenner’s suit was thrown out.
An industrial tribunal found that while there may have been a “macho culture within the firm”, it did not accept Mr Tenner had been discriminated against. […] [T]he tribunal said there was no evidence that any of the witnesses for PWC “showed any animosity, prejudice, or intolerance to disabled persons”.
In other words, they weren’t saying “that skitzo retard shouldn’t be calling in sick.” Apparently that’s what was needed here.
ConocoPhillips CFO Jeff Sheets is warning the U.S. Senate that repealing tax credits for oil companies will make it more difficult for his company and their U.S. counterparts to compete internationally and “higher taxes will mean that oil companies will have less money to reinvest, which could lead to a decline in the supply of hydrocarbons.”
Conoco’s CEO Jim Mulva, who will be testifying before the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow, agreed saying, that these plans are “discriminatory” and “If there is less investment, there is going to be less production and less production means higher prices for consumers.” So, Max Bauchus et al., go right ahead with your plan if you can sleep at night knowing that you’re nothing but a bunch of prejudiced jerks that want to hurt the American people. [WSJ, Reuters]
From Big 4 Blog:
Ernst & Young China is announcing the grand opening of its new office in China’s tallest building and premier location – Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) in the Pudong District of Shanghai. All of Ernst & Young’s 2,500 Shanghai people (of the 9,000 total China employees) will be one single location to help provide better services to clients and laying the groundwork for our further expansion in the China market. Prior to this, E&Y was in three different Shanghai locations.
Jim Turley managed to ignore the issue entirely saying, “Our confidence in the long term prospects in China is demonstrated in the investment in our business and our people. We currently have over 9,000 people in China, and will further grow our manpower with the business.”