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Accounting News Roundup: Mandatory Arbitration and Late Nights | 08.23.16

Mandatory arbitration

Over the years, the right to organize as a class has been important in wage and hour lawsuits against Big 4 firms. To help mitigate that risk, accounting firms — like PwC –have started requiring new employees to agree to mandatory arbitration as a condition of their employment. Back in May, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that these clauses were not enforceable and now the Ninth Circuit Court has ruled in another case:

Ernst & Young LLP cannot require its employees to give up their rights to pursue work-related claims together, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday, giving a major boost to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board's campaign against so-called class action waivers.

Companies have increasingly included provisions in employment contracts forcing workers to arbitrate claims individually as a way to avoid the cost of litigating class actions.

Other courts have ruled that mandatory arbitration is enforceable, however, so it's likely that the Supreme Court will decide the issue. 

Life after Big 4

Congratulations to ex-EY associate Gwen Jorgensen on winning the gold medal in the women's triathlon, the first American ever to do so. You might think that triathlons are nothing like working at a Big 4 firm, but in this interview with her husband, Patrick Lemieux, we learn that some of the longer days do end around the same time: 

After all the Olympic, media and sponsor obligations, Lemieux says, “Guess what time Gwen finally got to shower last night? 1:00 a.m.”

Yeah, that's where the similarities end, though.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! Although, while I've been away, a lot of people wrote the New York Times about the subject. And Slate made it part of their Trumpcast, interviewing David Cay Johnston. Infamous political operative Roger Stone thinks Trump should release the returns while his new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway does not (but she used to!). Also, Gawker wants them but…


Gawker's approach to covering news and gossip in a way that was both informative and enjoyable to read has influenced countless websites, including this one. I am not exaggerating when I say that there would be no Going Concern if there was no Gawker. But now it's all over and I am profoundly sad about that. The internet is better because of Gawker and will be worse off without it. I hope Peter Thiel is pleased with himself.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I had some computer issues last week and then took a few days off, so if I missed anything, shoot me an email. ICYMI, however, EY and Deloitte compensation seem to be keeping people busy. Plus, in Open Items, someone wonders if not getting a raise is a sign to quit.

In other news:

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