SACRAMENTO, Calif.–LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Last week, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff (“KCR”) filed a class action complaint against the nation’s fifth largest accounting firm, BDO Seidman, that seeks to recover millions of dollars in overtime pay for its past and present associate accountants.
The case against BDO Seidman alleges that it improperly classified its unlicensed associate accountants as “exempt” from receiving overtime pay and other benefits. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that under California law, accountants must be licensed in order to be properly classified as exempt. The complaint also alleges that the work duties of young associate accountants often consist of performing a wide variety of menial tasks that are highly supervised and controlled by accountants who are licensed. As such, the associates are not able to exercise “independent discretion and judgment;” a requirement under California law to be considered exempt.
Plaintiff’s attorney, Stuart Talley, noted that: “These young associates are often hired right out of college and are asked to work around the clock; especially during busy season. Given their lack of experience and the highly regulated environment in which they work, there is simply no way they can be exercising independent discretion and judgment on matters of significance as is required under California law. There is no way these accounting firms do not know they are violating the law.”
This lawsuit was filed on the heels of several similar class actions that have been pending against the four largest accounting firms, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Delloite & Touche. This is the first action filed against what is considered a “second tier” accounting firm; an accounting firms that is large but not quite large enough to be considered one of the “Big 4.”
“This is just the first of many lawsuits we intend to file against accounting firms that are violating the law. It is our position that the law on this subject is very clear and that these firms must be held to account for their actions,” said Talley.
The lawsuit filed in the action is entitled Nguyen v. B.D.O. Seidman and is pending in the Central District of California, Case Number SACV07 1252.
Kershaw, Cutter, & Ratinoff prosecutes class actions and other complex litigation on behalf of a wide range of consumer and investor clients, in state and federal courts across the nation. To visit Kershaw, Cutter, & Ratinoff’s website, please go to www.kcrlegal.com. You can also contact William Kershaw or Stuart Talley at 916-448-9800 or by email at [email protected] or [email protected], if you have any questions or would like more information.