Plaintiffs alleged widespread gender disparities in pay, promotion within sexist culture at accounting giant
As reported by Law360 (subscription), “big four” accounting firm KPMG has agreed to pay over $10 million to settle a long-running lawsuit filed by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel on behalf of hundreds of female Advisory and Tax professionals at KPMG accusing the company of pay and gender discrimination.
As Law360 notes, nine named plaintiffs filed a motion in New York federal court asking a judge to approve the agreement, which would resolve a case filed as a hybrid class and collective action that began in 2011. The plaintiff women claim they were underpaid and under-promoted to a statistically significant degree, citing common problems with KPMG’s pay and promotion policies and practices. They also described a culture at KPMG rife with gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.
As noted in the motion, the claims of about 450 women remain pending, including the nine named plaintiffs. The filing noted that the average claimant will receive approximately $16,000 under the settlement, with the exact amount to be based on an agreed-upon set of criteria.
“Because this settlement was reached with the assistance of a highly respected mediator after nearly 10 years of adversarial litigation, this court may presume that it is fair and reasonable,” the women said in their motion. They also noted that the deal, if approved, would “allow the parties to avoid the significant litigation risks.”