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January 4, 2012

KPMG US facing overtime suit

A New York federal court has conditionally certified a national collective action lawsuit alleging KPMG US is violating federal labour laws by denying entry-level audit employees overtime pay.

This means a class action can be taken out if additional steps are followed.

Outten & Golden, the law firm acting on the behalf of employees, said the certification will enable KPMG audit employees nationwide to join the case. So far, audit associates from Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington have joined the case, according to Outten & Golden.

The claim alleges KPMG exempted audit associates from proper overtime wages in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

KPMG US declined to comment on the case when contacted by International Accounting Bulletin.

Outten & Golden lawyer Justin Swartz said overtime pay is a problem among all of the Big Four accounting firms, not just KPMG. The law firm has previously filed similar suits against Deloitte US and PwC.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court in California ruled in favour of PwC US, ruling that state law on overtime did not apply to the firm’s ‘unlicensed accountants’ and 2,000 junior employees were not owed overtime pay.

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