PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting has reached a financial settlement with 273 consultants who were hired but not employed by the consulting firm.
The settlement came as a result of a class action suit filed in Washington D.C. Superior Court last fall. Megan Secrest, lead plaintiff in the case, was hired by the Washington D.C. office of PwC in 2001. After moving to D.C. she was informed there was no job. She received no compensation from PwC, not even her $7,000 signing bonus that was part of the employment contract.
Ms. Secrest contacted others who ultimately became members of the class action using addresses she found in a congratulatory mailing PwC Consulting had sent to newly hired consultants. She was able to add 272 members to the class and a lawsuit was filed.
Under the terms of the settlement, PwC Consulting agrees to pay each plaintiff approximately 90 percent of the signing bonus that was originally part of each consultant's employment agreement. Bonus amounts range from $3,000 to $7,000. In addition PwC Consulting will pay attorney fees for the class amounting to $363,000.
"I'm proud because we showed that even a big company should have to honor their commitments," said Ms. Secrest.
IBM acquired PwC Consulting last year. IBM is not a party to the lawsuit.