On December 16, 2011, Judge Richard M. Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted a motion for conditional certification of a class of auditors and similar persons who worked for the national accounting firms of Deloitte & Touche. LLP and Deloitte, LLP.
The lawsuit was brought by the New York law firm of Outten & Golden, LP. In it, the plaintiffs alleged that they were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay when in fact they were non-exempt workers who should have been paid for the overtime hours they worked.
In his ruling, Judge Berman authorized notice to go out to a lass of employees consisting of Audit Assistants, Audit Senior Assistants, Audits In-Charge, and Audit Seniors (collectively, “Audit Class Members”). Any one working in these positions recently will now receive notice of this lawsuit and an invitation to join.
Judge Berman authorized this notice because “Plaintiffs have demonstrated that Deloitte’s alleged improper classification ofAudit Class Members as exempt from overtime pay requirements “may be determined on a collective basis.” Kress, 263 F.R.D. at 631. Class-wide determination is appropriate because Deloitte’s training and audit methodology (and applicable accounting professional standards) appear to uniformly apply to Audit Class Members. See Id.; Brady, 2010 WL 1200045, at *5. These uniform standards directly address whether Audit Class Members exercise discretion and independent judgment. See Kress, 263 F.R.D. at 630-31; 29 C.F.R. § 541.200( a). “
Good luck to Attorney Justin Swartz and his team at Outten & Golden and to any class members who join.