One of the big four accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, was named in an age discrimination lawsuit Wednesday, which alleged that PwC boasted in 2011 that the average age of its 208,000 employees was 27.
The class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court cites PwC’s own study on how to recruit and retain Millennials, workers between 21 and 36, saying it expected nearly 80 percent of its workforce would be in that age range in 2016.
“The underrepresentation of workers over age 40 at PwC is stark,” the lawsuit states.
PwC also has a mandatory early retirement age of 60 for partners.
“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 that are afforded to people who work for PwC,” the suit states.
The lawsuit was brought by Steve Rabin, 53, a certified public accountant, who says the firm violates federal and California age discrimination law. He spent 15 years in the computer industry before going back to school for training as a CPA and received a license in 2005. He has worked at several small accounting firms but contends without work at a Big Four accounting firm like PwC his career would be limited.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looked at PwC’s mandatory retirement age in a 2013 inquiry but closed it without bringing a complaint. In 2014, another firm, Deloitte, came under similar scrutiny by the EEOC for its mandatory retirement age of 62.
Case: Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, No. 16-cv-2276