Plaintiffs Allege Widespread Gender Disparities in Pay, Promotion Within Sexist Culture

Attorneys from Lieff Cabraser and Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 27th seeking class certification in a long-running lawsuit to challenge gender disparities in pay and promotion on behalf of female Advisory and Tax professionals at KPMG. The Court held a hearing on the motion, not previously filed on the public docket, in August, and the parties await a decision.

“Despite the many gains women have made in the workplace, the record in this case shows that the deck continues to be stacked against them,” said Kelly Dermody, Chair of the Employment Practice Group at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “Change will only be possible through the collective resistance of the brave women who have come forward.”

“Today’s filings demonstrate pervasive gender discrimination against women at KPMG, where women are underpaid and underpromoted,” said Kate Mueting, a partner and co-chair of the Title VII practice in Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Washington, D.C., office and co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “KPMG knew of gender pay disparities as early as 2009 and, nonetheless, expert analysis shows gender-based pay disparities still exist nationwide.”

The motion also details rampant sexual harassment and even sexual assault. Men at KPMG grabbed women’s buttocks, thighs and breasts and encouraged women to “put on lipstick” and wear high heels to secure engagements for the firm.

Kassman, et al. v. KPMG was filed June 2, 2011 and is focused on changing the firm’s discriminatory pay and promotion policies and practices, as well as remedying its systemic failure to properly investigate and resolve pervasive complaints of gender discrimination and harassment. The Court granted conditional collective action certification of Plaintiffs’ Equal Pay Act claims in 2014, and 1,112 current and former KPMG employees have joined the case.

In its most recent fiscal year, ending September 2017, KPMG reported revenues of $26.4 US billion worldwide, up from $25.42 US billion worldwide in 2016. The firm’s 2018 revenue has not been released.

Learn more about the KPMG gender discrimination lawsuit.

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