A former senior manager of KPMG US has filed a
$350million class-action against the firm alleging gender
discrimination denied women opportunities to move into leadership
The plaintiff, Donna Kassman, worked at KPMG’s
New York office for 17 years. She resigned, claiming she was denied
a promotion and had received a salary cut before going on maternity
The lawsuit alleges KPMG is engaged in
systemic discrimination against female managers.
KPMG has denied the allegations and said that
the firm has a strong commitment to supporting women in the
“KPMG is recognised as a leader for its strong
commitment to supporting women in the workplace. In fact, among the
Big Four accounting firms, KPMG is tied with the highest percentage
of women partners. We believe this lawsuit is entirely without
merit,” KPMG US spokesperson George Ledwith said.
Ledwith also said that women account for 51
percent of full-time campus hires last year and 46 percent of the
Kassman is said to be seeking declaratory and
injunctive relief for herself and the class, including back pay and
front pay. This includes compensatory, nominal and punitive
damages, as well as attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.
The law firm representing the plaintiff,
Sanford Wittels & Heisler, specialises in employment
discrimination as well as labour and wage violations.