Tuesday, 9 October 2007

KPMG in law suit over unpaid overtime

I am feeling really tired today trying to do some songs searching and see what is appropriate for my wedding dinner and which one I should embarrass myself on stage. Hence, not much time to blog and I shall leave you with this piece of news which came to my attention last month. I have pasted the article below.

As for those formerly Ernst & Young, you might want to have a look at the debate on overtime payment that’s happening here. Apparently EY is also under a lawsuit over unpaid overtime… Very interesting time we live in…

I wonder such thing will ever happen in Malaysia… you’ll never know.



KPMG LLP has become the second high-profile employer to be slapped with an unpaid-overtime class-action lawsuit and could face damages worth millions of dollars, says the lawyer for the lead plaintiff.

The suit against the Canadian division of KPMG, which provides audit, tax, and advisory services, comes on the heels of similar action in June against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Both cases were filed in Ontario Superior Court.

"Professional services firms are under the impression that because they are professional service firms, they are outside the purview of the overtime rules," said lawyer Henry Juroviesky, of Juroviesky and Ricci LLP.

That's because chartered accountants make up the bulk of KPMG's staff and are excluded from overtime provisions, he said. The firm, however, has a diverse workforce that includes other professionals subject to the rules. The suit's proposed class covers those employees who worked more than 44 hours in a week without overtime.

"This class action will hopefully make them cognizant of that fact and lead to behaviour modification on the part of these firms," Juroviesky said in an interview.

The lead plaintiff is Toronto resident Alison Corless, who was employed as a "technician" at KPMG from 2000 to 2004. She alleges she is owed $87,000 in overtime for that period.
According to the statement of claim: "It is well known in the accounting and professional industry that hours worked by a productive employee are approximately one-third more than the hours they charge."

The suit alleges breach of Ontario's Employment Standards Act and breach of contract. It seeks $20 million in general damages for the class, but Juroviesky estimated the claim is viable for damages between $65 million and $100 million.

The case has not been certified and none of the allegations has been proven in court.
KPMG issued a statement saying it values its employees, adding it provides "a competitive compensation and benefits package in keeping with its goal of being an employer of choice."

"Our comprehensive compensation practices include overtime policies which comply with applicable legislative requirements. We have only recently received this lawsuit and will be reviewing it in detail with our counsel before making any further response," it added.


conan_cat said...

lol... so which song are you gonna nah nah nah on stage, hmm? :P and well i guess in acc industry somehow it's too "professional" for people to look over. hell it will take another accountant to sum up all those money, and who knows the whole acc industry might boycott that accountant just because he broke the untold taboo

alright, i'm obviously thinking too much and watching too much TVB dramas

Anonymous said...

Yay! I am first!

Hehe... Finally, an encouraging news for Tuesday morning. I wonder how long more will those blood and sweat be justified?

Terra Shield said...

I highly doubt things like that will happen in Malaysia.
But then again, you never know...

angel said...

Sentimental songs from the 80's are the best of the best, IMHO ;) All the best in your search!

But hor... why so tiring wor... look for songs oni maa... :p

SuLee said...

cousin used to work for KPMG, and she quited because of the ridiculous hours! couldnt take it anymore...

which firm are you with??

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Congratulation! Song arrr? Any roma song can do lah!Have a nice day!

Huei said...

happen in msia?? i guess so..but for the gomen departments onli la..who knows..private sectors never get any benefits!

wedding songs..hmmm...compose them urself =P

Lucius Maximus said...

great to see u blogging against some corporate shits squeezing the juice out of us, while not bothering to reward us in return. risky affairs, considering that u urself in a financial institution :)

Angie Tan said...

Wedding songs?? Hmmm... Why does the Lionel Richie & Diana Ross song - "Endless Love" keeps playing in my head? LOL!!

Good luck on that bro...

Anyway, a class action suit in M'sia against the one of the big 4 bosses? I recall your post about standing up to a mean boss and so, after that we sort of concluded that a person doing this may not gather support. :-(

anigma said...

Eh? Getting married ah? Congratulations. So far, I think my preferred wedding songs - More than love from Los Lonely Boys and Shania Twain's not so bad.

irene said...

I told a friend that if I ever get married, I'd want to have Barbra Streisand's "I've finally found someone" played at my wedding :P

maegen said...


H.C. Tan said...

zewt congrats *hugz!!! Backstreet Boys - How did I fall in love with you.. hehe~ its a boyband song..but..hehe

Sunshine said...

choosing songs... thats a real headache... you decided on a theme yet?

Anonymous said...

Getting married? Cannot wait anymore huh?

read this somewhere...

A man really loved a woman, but he was just too shy to propose to her. Now he was up in his years and neither of them had ever been married. Of course, they dated about once a week for the past six years, but he was so timid he just never got around to suggesting marriage much less living together.

But one day, he became determined to ask her the question. So he calls her on the phone, "June."

"Yes, this is June."

"Will you marry me?"

"Of course I will! Who's this?"

J.T. said...

Looking for a song for your wedding? How about So In Love With You by UNV? Have you heard of this song?

Verse 1:
You are to me,
What poetry tries to say with the word,
You are the song,
All the music my heart,
Ever heard….
I can't escape,
The air that I breathe even speaks of you,
And I'm not ashamed to say,
That I feel this way….

I will stand before God,
Give you all that I've got,
I can promise you,
I'll be true,
I will feel here and now,
As we both take this vow,
I am so in love (so in love),
With you…

Verse 2:
Words can't express,
I confess with each beat of my heart,
I'm overwhelmed,
With a passion I,
I felt from the start,
Our love will grow,
As the years come and go,
I'll remain by your side,
Oh yes I will,
There isn't anything that I will demand..

I will stand before God,
Give you all that I've got,
I can promise you,
I'll be true,
I will feel here and now,
As we both take this vow,
I am so in love,
I am so in love,
With you.

I promise to honor and cherish,
For better or for worst,
I'll be there for you,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
Till death do us part, (I will go with you)
From this day on and forever, ( I will…..)

(Back to chorus)

As for that overtime issue, if this case is won by plaintiffs, it might cause a ripple effect throughout the accounting world ... at least within KPMG first. ;)

tulipspeaks said...

getting married? :) congrats!


cirnelle said...

You gonna sing ah?! Like that, I'll bring a video cam to put you on Youtube. Just make sure to stay clear away from Negarakuku, okay?

ehon said...

zewt!! i need your help. did u have like a language problem when u went to cambodia? did u do a self tour or was it a tour package? can u email me pls? :D

penang-kia said...

Zewt...i kahwin liao ah... keong hee!... keong hee!

Helen said...

The overtime piece is interesting.. but not as earth shattering as your wedding hints!

COngrats!!! Wow, Zewt getting hitched liao. Wait, what do mean songs? You're going to have Karaoke? :-P

Bee Ean said...

People take year to fight for the bargaining power with their employers. What have Malaysians done to achieve this?

penang-kia said...

I used to play this song in my car on my first date and on repeat mode "Groovy kind of love-by Phil Collins"
And guess what 'kautim' now she is my groovy kind of love. hahaha...

Tine said...

I'm leaving the song-searching for the wedding to Tim, so that I have less to worry about. Good luck! ;)

PS: Forever Tonight by Peter Cetera & Crystal Bernard. Killer lomantik :p (I'm using that for the wedding slides song :p)

dr_blur said...

yo bro,

hope it helps;

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

well good luck in finding ur songs..haha how come malaysia big 4 is not in the picture ar?..

zewt said...

conan_cat - haha... that's a secret la. as for accountant boycotting... it's actually happening in HK, which is why HK has to recruit ppl from Sg and Msia. Don't be surprise you see Indians and Banglas working in big 4 here soon :P

anon @ 12.23am - haha... u missed it. it will take a while before malaysia will follow suit. but the rise of the new breed is a good sign.

terra shield - with the rise of the new breed... who knows?

angel - i am quite particular when it comes to music :)

SuLee - here in malaysia or canada? i was with AA then EY.

Hor Ny - hehe... i wanna choose a good one.

zewt said...

Huei - dont think they will sue the govt dept la... no way. compose... hehehe...

Lucius Maximus - you might love my next posting.

Angie Tan - hahaha... he will not. i actually have a few posts on that... about being the brave one. thanks for your congratulatory wishes.

anigma - plenty out there actually. still prefer steven curtis chapman.

irene - that one like too many ppl use already lor.

maegen - thanks.

zewt said...

HC Tan - aiyah... dont want boyband song la.

sunshine - as usual...my fiance wants pink.

anon @ 1.43pm - hahaha... poor guy. i am glad i am not him.

JT - i shall look for the song later. meeting my bestmen for some discussion. as for KPMG... i am all for them... to lose! haha...

tulipspeaks - thanks :)

cirnelle - oh yeah... lest i wanna risk being charges by the national anthem act...

penang-kia - kam sia kam sia... :)

zewt said...

ehon - sure, will mail you later tonight.

Helen - I tot it's already public news here... i have actually hinted in some of my older post :)... not karaoke la... it's a hotel.

bee ean - malaysians will keep quiet and wanna take the easy way up by kissing balls.

Tine - hahaha.. i have got a few songs up my sleeve. i like those oldies jazz.

dr_blur - i shall check it out tonight.

constant craver joe - cos malaysians got no balls to do this ler. big 4 squeeze their bonus also they dont dare to say anything.

Winn said...

we need professional 'calculators' like them to calculate for the other peasants like us working in other industry ( non-financial institution) ...we work very much overtime too! just that we dunno how to calculate.

or is it that we dont mind?
or we are too shy to ask ?

Anak Merdeka said...

So the date has finally be fixed eh? Congratulations to you Zewt! (and to soon-to-be Mrs Zewt too ..)

The groom wants to sing a love song in public for his bride eh? How lovely and touching. It'll make for great memories of your big day too. :-)

-=SiN=- said...

does ur coming wedding have a theme? find a song that suit the theme will be tad easier.
if it's gonna be held in hotels.. then you might wanna change the tune that are gonna be used in the food presentation; wong fei hong and mahsuri is soo old school..

owh~ congrats!

democratic junkie said...

its not that malaysians have no balls. Our laws are weak. hence we have no solid framework for redress. And the big 4 is taking advantage of this. Like you said, modern slavery...

ehon said...

WHERE'S UR ENTRY FOR GO DOT COM?! Closing lor today! Faster, faster, faster!! Free domain and hosting ler!

mumsgather said...

Ah...wedding dinner. Good ole memories. Hehe. You want some advice? Auntie give you. Hahaha. Since you're feeling tired, here's something to perk you up. A Creative Blogger Award for you!
. :)

sharlydia said...

I spent some time on choosing the songs too for my wedding 2 years ago, especially the one when we walk in the church and during dinner entry...Good luck & Congrates!

Dancing Queen said...

Hi zewt, thinking of what song to choose for your wedding? I know this sounds like a romantic song, 'I wanna take forever tonight' by Peter Cetera but if you really think about it, it's more suitable for a Viagra ad.

You don't want to take forever that night, do you? ;P

Friendfromtaiwan said...

pah.. when will this ever happen in malaysia, as long as people are willing to be made slaves as juniors when they get further up they will also want to effect the same treatment they recieved on the people below them. the whole system requires a break in thinking and an esacpe from the third world mentatlity that we will drop dead and starve and be made social outcasts the moment we refuse to work overtime..

anyway a very suitable song for your wedding that you can try and learn is a duet by david tao and jolin tsai (mandarin)今天你要價給我 (marry me today), a bit cheesy but worth the effort since its in mandarin as well... hehe good luck with everything, leaving for Shanghai very soon

may said...

let the wedding planner kautim your songs! just say what sort of music you want and they can do the research for you mah... no?

*so thankful I'm not working for those Big 3 companies anymore...*

jam said...

Congratulations! Blog about your ceremony, bruther.

zewt said...

winn - we are brought in a manner where we must always be polite and dont rock the boat.

anak merdeka - yeah, gonna be a very embarassing moment too i am sure.

-=Sin=- - and the 'be our guest' from beauty and the beast is just so over-used.

democratic junkie - yeah... but i think the sphere is shifting, we need more time.

ehon - too late ler... and got other things to blog about.

zewt said...

mumsgather - collected it... many thanks for it :)

sharlydia - yeah... it' once in a lifetime thingy, better do it propertly.

Dancing Queen - hey there... welcome to AZAIG. viagra ad... hahahahahahahahahaha.... certainly dont want to take forever... it must reach climax at some point, right?

friendfromtaiwan - i tot that song was originaly sung by emil chao?

may - wah, very expensive wan la.

jam - will do when it's over.

dreamie said...

waaah.. wedding bells round the corner ar??
* congrats, CONGRATS !! * ... :P

Cocka Doodle said...

Songs for your wedding dinner?
I'll be happy to send you those I songs I host in my blog. Hahahaha!!!

zewt said...

dreamer - thank you thank you :)

cocka doodle - hmmm... what are those, let me go check it out.

narrowband said...

One of the all-time best wedding songs, Zewt, has got to be Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses. It's beautiful. Btw I didn't know a wedding is around the corner. I should congratulate you!

zewt said...

narrowband - i shall check that song out... thanks. and thanks for your wishes :)

Anonymous said...

It is not just big 4 accounting firms that have been hit with unpaid class action overtime lawsuits.

In Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has been hit with an overtime lawsuit in the province of Ontario. See www.unpaidovertime.ca for more details.

In the US, the cover story of the October 1, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek (a US weekly business magazine) discusses who is entitled to overtime pay in the US and profiles the attorney (Mark Thierman) who sues large US employers (across a wide range of industries) for unpaid overtime, one of which is Ernst & Young (www.eylawsuit.com).

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_40/b4052001.htm (link to main cover story)

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_40/b4052004.htm (link gives examples of actual pending unpaid overtime lawsuits, one of which is Ernst & Young).

zewt said...

anon @ 3.45pm - thanks dude... i shall have a read later.

anonymous said...

There's also www.big4lawsuit.com for unpaid overtime lawsuits against the big four accounting firms. A close read of that website indicates that it is the same firm that has brought an unpaid overtime lawsuit against Ernst & Young in California (www.eylawsuit.com).

Deloitte & Touche has been hit with an unpaid overtime lawsuit in the State of California, United States(www.dtlawsuit.com).

Ditto for PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG in California. (The same law firm going after PwC has also filed suit against BDO Seidman in California.)

The bottom line is that all the Big4 firms have been hit with unpaid overtime class action lawsuits in California.

As for unpaid overtime lawsuits in Canada, Scotiabank has been sued (www.unpaidovertime.ca which is the same website as the CIBC lawsuit).