THOUSANDS OF CURRENT and former female KPMG employees in the US have been given the opportunity to join in with a class action lawsuit against the firm.
Some 9,000 women who work or have worked at KPMG since October 2008 were emailed yesterday with details about a collective action that challenges alleged pay discrimination at the US firm.
The notice was approved by US district judge Lorna Schofield on 3 October. The action revolves around former KPMG manager Donna Kassman, who spent 17 years working in the firm’s New York office before resigning, then claiming that she and other females suffered gender discrimination. The firm has been accused of developing a hostile work environment in which women are underpaid and rarely promoted to leadership roles.
“We are thrilled with the court’s decision that thousands of women should receive notice of their opportunity to participate directly in this suit,” said Katherine Kimpel, a managing partner at Sanford Heisler and lead counsel in the case.
“For too long, KPMG got away with underpaying its hard-working female employees. Hopefully, this case can help return some of those lost wages back to those women and their families. Female professionals at KPMG need not suffer alone; now they can act together to right this wrong.”
“We will not comment on pending litigation other than to note that plaintiffs’ allegations are without merit, and KPMG will vigorously defend itself,” a KPMG spokesman said in a statement. “As we have noted previously, KPMG is recognised as a leader for its strong commitment to supporting women in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion have long been priorities for the firm, and as such are woven into our culture and everything we do. We continue to believe this lawsuit has no basis in fact.”
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