KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms worldwide, is now making news for a major class action gender discrimination lawsuit. The case began in 2011 when a senior manager filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against KPMG for a culture of continuing gender discrimination and harassment, and alleged that the company refused to remedy the problem. Since that initial lawsuit, more than 1,100 women comprising former and current employees have joined the case. The suit alleges significant gender disparities in pay, promotions, and a workplace culture rife with sexual harassment and assault.
State and federal laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibit discrimination and harassment in employment. The discrimination complaint states that women in the workforce are routinely discriminated against in salary and promotions to the top ranks at KPMG. It states that women are hired at a similar rate to men, but females comprise just one-fourth of the managing directors and fewer than one-fifth of the managing partners at the firm. It also cites that women’s pay is less than that of the male employees, on average.
The request for class action certification also contains allegations of a work environment hostile to addressing complaints of sexual harassment and assault. The complaint uses statistics from KPMG’s sexual harassment database in which there were three reported claims of sexual assault and rape. The claim further details instances of harassment that include male KPMG employees groping female employees’ buttocks, thighs, and breasts, and creating an environment where women’s attire and cosmetics were encouraged to gain business. In one instance, the suit details that a male manager accused of multiple cases of misconduct received only a written warning and a requirement to take an online course as remediation.
The company states in its response that the claims in the lawsuit are without merit and that the experiences do not represent the experiences of most women at the firm. The class action filing now includes 1,112 women who have been past or current KPMG employees.
KPMG is just the most recent of many high-profile corporations to be accused of failing to protect its workers from harassment and discrimination and allowing illegal conduct to go unpunished. Sexual harassment includes a variety of unwelcome conduct and advances that create a hostile work environment. Under the law, companies are required to ensure equal treatment in all phases of the employment process from hiring to promotions and compensation.
Delaware County Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
If you suffered from gender discrimination in the workplace, the Delaware County employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help obtain the justice you deserve. Please contact us online for a free consultation or call us at 215-569-1999 to discuss your case. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.