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Nearly 900 Female KPMG Employees Have Joined the Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

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.