Monday, June 20, 2011

Courting: PWC, Junior Accountants and Overtime Suits

PriceWaterhouseCoopers won a reversal in the U.S. Ninth Circuit (not always business-friendly) regarding whether professional accountants below the rank of senior were entitled to overtime pay under California state law (why was this not settled in state courts?). A U.S. District Court in Sacremento had originally found in favor of a class action suit brought by junior accountants.

For the large majority of CPA firms, I do not believe that there is a lot to be concerned about. Make sure that overtime is fairly assigned and that employees have reasonable opportunities to use "comp" time if applicable (some firms might have to liberalize "comp" time use rules). Promotion practices may also need a look; the most likely employee to bring such a suit is one who believes that he/she was unfairly passed over for promotion. However large CPA firms in the Northeastern and Pacific states might want to talk with an attorney (in-house or otherwise) to evaluate the risk of a comparable suit and possibly adjust firm policy accordingly.

3 Comments:

Blogger CeciCooper said...

Good points on the promotion - if you have a staff working a ton of hours, but don't feel the need to give them a raise or promote them, then you're assuming that you could find someone better than them to do the job. If this is the case, hire workers you do intend to reward. If it turns out that you can't find a better replacement, maybe you should be keeping your current employees a little happier?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Simply-Bookkeeping said...

Firms should make sure that overtime clauses are written into contracts rather than getting into a mess later. But in my opinion pay people for the work they do...

1:03 PM  
Blogger Master said...

I like the way you write. Awesome, keep it up.

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1:01 AM  

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