PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational audit, consulting, and tax services firm, has agreed to pay $11.6 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed its recruitment practices discriminated against older workers. The lawsuit alleged that PwC discriminated against older applicants by refusing to hire older workers for entry-level associate jobs. Instead, they filled staff positions almost exclusively through college campus recruiting and school-affiliated job sites that were off-limits to older workers.
The age discrimination lawsuit was filed by Steve Rabin, a 53-year-old CPA with over ten years of experience who was willing to take an entry-level position to get “Big 4” experience, which is considered essential to obtaining success in the accounting field. Rabin noted that during his interview with PwC, he was asked by a 35-year-old Senior Assurance Manager, “The people in the cubicles are much younger than you. How would you fit in? Would you be able to work for a younger manager or director?” According to the lawsuit, PwC did not hire Rabin and instead hired a younger applicant who was not more qualified. The lawsuit claimed these practices violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and “as a result of this bias against older workers, older accountants who are equally or more qualified have been systematically excluded from the career opportunities.”
In addition to the $11.6 million dollar monetary settlement, PwC said it would advertise job opportunities to older workers; allow alumni to apply for on-campus openings; and refrain from asking, pre-offer, for the graduation date or maintaining eligibility limits based on graduation year or age.
Pechman Law Group has represented several executives in high profile age discrimination cases. If you believe you have experienced age discrimination, please reach out to our firm at the number 212-583-9500 to schedule a consultation.