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EY to Staff: Pledge Allegiance to the United States of EY or Go Find Another Job (UPDATE)

Ed. note: We have updated this article at the bottom with details on a cheating scandal at EY that puts the mystery of this oddly aggressive all-hands call to rest

Not sure if y’all have heard but EY has really been struggling to not look like total jackasses in recent history. The reputational fallout really started back in October 2019 with that whole waffles and pancakes debacle, a training exercise that told female executives at EY to stop being so shrill and to put their tits away because “sexuality scrambles the mind.” No really, that happened. Then there was the whole PTO theft restructuring incident a year later in which staff were informed that any accrued PTO not taken by the end of the year would just disappear into the void. “A sneaky pay cut,” said one EYer unimpressed by that announcement. Somewhere, KPMG leadership is giggling in a darkened office at the fact that they are no longer the brunt of every single joke, though surely staff there are still a little raw (heh) over the lack of Omaha Steaks.

Although not nearly as scandalous as telling female executives they have pancake brains, EY is now causing waves over a “pledge to the firm” announced at Wednesday’s all-hands call. A tipster catches us up on what we missed:

Ernst & Young had an all hands call yesterday and the last segment of it was an “anti racism and social justice update”. At the end of this segment, Kelly Grier stated that in our inboxes next Wednesday, we can expect there to be a video and associated pledge to sign. She encouraged us to “watch the video, read every word of the pledge, and if you can’t sign it, it may be time for you to do something else”. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a threat (and maybe illegal?). Given the undertones and what she was talking about before, this gave the strong impression that the pledge was going to be related to being committed to anti-racism and social justice and the like.

I think we all can agree racism = bad (especially in the workplace) so asking staff to pledge not to drop N-bombs like 10-year-old Reaper mains in Overwatch isn’t that big of a deal; however, we’re going to have to side with our tipster here and question why EY was so aggressive about it. “Sign or quit” should really be reserved for more controversial subjects, such as feeling entitled to accrued PTO.

Moving on …

However instead of waiting a week, the pledge and associated video came out TODAY (gee I can’t imagine why). It was a pledge to recommit to “EY Values” (which they didn’t go into detail on) and had an emphasis on cheating (probably having to do with WBLs…or auditing cash). Neither the pledge nor the 4 minute video itself said anything directly about anti racism or social justice, but it still left a bad taste with a lot of EYers, and it seems like “EY Values” was left rather vague. Count this as another unforced error from EY Leadership dating back to at least early 2020.

Ah. So it wasn’t about racism at all.

This aligns with a comment on Reddit which said essentially the same thing.

If the Reddit thread is any indication, everyone is a bit confused about this whole thing, especially the closet racists who no doubt started with the anime sweats halfway through yesterday’s firmwide call.

The pledge got all the attention but we have also gotten an update on raises, which it seems way more people care about than the hostile social justice environment all around us. Our tipster writes:

For raises and bonuses, it was announced that Staff level employees will now be eligible for PBB and the timeline is getting accelerated a few weeks to sometime in August. This was the number one thing we wanted to know about and there just wasn’t the detail I was hoping for.

So there you have it, now you’re caught up too. EYers have until May 21 to sign the pledge, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind them that should you choose not to and seek other employment instead you already lost any accrued PTO on December 31 so don’t bank on that payout when you hit the door. As if any of you could forget.

Update: the cheating comments all make sense now!

5 thoughts on “EY to Staff: Pledge Allegiance to the United States of EY or Go Find Another Job (UPDATE)

  1. I was at EY for one long painful year before I couldn’t take it anymore and bailed. Extremely toxic, cult-like culture.

  2. Either the author is simply ignorant of what anti racism actually is or they know and are misrepresenting it on purpose. I truly hope it’s the former.

  3. Sounds like they were trying to copy PwC Tim Ryan who made a speech like that on racism.

  4. I worked at EY for over 6 years as OSS TES or whatever the IT name was that given week lol The first few years were pretty good but then IT services was handed to the control of a guy from India who made it clear that our jobs were going to “his people”. When this Grier woman came along it became like some kind of cultish Nazi police state. Lol now this garbage… so glad I don’t work there anymore!!!

    Literally became the very worst place I ever worked run by frat boy partners who fostered a very very unhealthy environment to say the least. (sexual harassment, sexual assault, theft, abuse of expense accounts to the point of insanity like 10k bar tabs for their pals not work related, incredible corruption for which they have been fined and punished by near ever country in the world, office politics and foolishness the likes of which I had never seen, and incredible in your face racism.)

    If you’re in the market avoid EY like the plague. Trust me I wish I hadn’t wasted 6 years of my life there. The only positive at all was the few good team members I met and became friends with outside of that wretched place.

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