A New York federal court conditionally certified a national collective action lawsuit that alleges that KPMG LLP violated the federal labor laws by denying thousands of entry-level audit employees overtime pay, lawyers for the workers at Outten & Golden LLP said today.
The lawsuit alleges KPMG misclassified "audit associates" as exempt and did not pay them proper overtime wages in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law.
The certification allows KPMG audit associates nationwide to join the case and assert their overtime claims. Audit associates from six states -- Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington -- have joined the case so far.
Justin M. Swartz, of Outten & Golden LLP, said, "We are pleased that the Court has allowed us to inform KPMG audit associates nationwide of their right to join this lawsuit and attempt to recover the overtime wages they earned but were not paid. We look forward to proving these overtime claims during the next stage of the case."
Rachel Bien, of Outten & Golden LLP, said, "KPMG audit associates work long hours and make big sacrifices for the company. The least they should be able to expect is for KPMG to follow the law when it pays them."
The case is "Kyle Pippins, et al., v. KPMG LLP," in the Southern District of New York, Case No. 1:11-cv-00377-CM-JLC.
Swartz added, "Denying associates overtime pay is a problem among all of the Big Four accounting firms, not just at KPMG. We hope that this case, as well as audit, advisory, and tax cases against Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young will reform the accounting industry."
Last month, another New York federal court conditionally certified a nationwide collective in a similar overtime case against Deloitte & Touche LLP. Outten & Golden LLP is also co-counsel for the Plaintiffs in the Deloitte overtime case, an overtime case against KPMG on behalf of advisory associates, and an overtime case against PricewaterhouseCoopers.