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Case Name Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP EE-CA-0360
Docket / Court 4:16-cv-02276-JST ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization Outten & Golden
Case Summary
On April 27, 2016, the plaintiff, a certified public accountant over the age of forty, filed this class and collective action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) under the Age Discrimination in Employment ... read more >
On April 27, 2016, the plaintiff, a certified public accountant over the age of forty, filed this class and collective action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.) and California state law. The plaintiff, represented by Outten & Golden LLP, the AARP Foundation, and the Liu Law Firm, sought injunctive and monetary relief, claiming the defendant had wrongfully discriminated against people of the age of forty and older in their hiring practices. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant willfully utilized a biased recruiting system for entry-level positions that excluded and deterred workers aged forty and over, willfully implemented a mandatory early retirement policy that deterred and discriminated against applicants aged forty and over, and refused to hire applicants aged forty and over for certain positions.

On December 1, 2016, defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that the ADEA does not permit job applicants, but only employees, to pursue disparate impact claims. This motion was denied by Judge Jon S. Tigar on February 17, 2017, with the Court concluding that the ADEA does allow for job applicants to bring disparate impact claims. 236 F. Supp. 3d 1126.

On March 8, 2017, the defendant moved for certification of an interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1296(b) regarding the extension of the ADEA to job applications. This motion was denied by the Court on April 17, 2017, on the grounds that the defendant failed to show that the subject of the motion was a controlling question of law or that the appeal would materially advance the litigation.

On December 21, 2017, the plaintiff moved to certify a collective action on behalf of older applicants for employment at PwC and a hearing on the motion was held on February 27, 2018. On July 26, 2018, Judge Tigar denied the certification and concluded that the plaintiff was “not substantially similar either to unqualified applicants or to deterred applicants, both of which categories are party of the larger collective action they seek to certify.” 2018 WL 3585143.

On August 27, 2018, the plaintiff filed under seal a renewed motion for certification of a collective action, and a hearing was held on December 20, 2018. On March 28, 2019, the court granted the renewed motion for certification, finding that the plaintiffs' revised collective action definition cured the previously identified deficiencies. The new definition included “[a]ll individuals who, from October 18, 2013 forward, applied for a Covered Position (Associate, Experienced Associate, and Senior Associate) in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service, met the minimum qualifications for the position to which they applied, were age 40 or older at the time of application, and were not hired.” 2019 WL 9078785.

The parties proceeded to provide notice to the collective action's members. On March 3, 2020, the parties filed a joint motion for preliminary settlement approval. The proposed settlement would provide an $11,265,000 common fund for members and attorney's fees. It also provided for programmatic changes to PwC's employment practices, including:
  1. Hiring an age inclusivity consultant;
  2. Advertising jobs to older workers;
  3. Removing job eligibility limits based on graduation year or age;
  4. Modifying PwC's anti-discrimination policy to include age;
  5. Allowing alumni to apply for jobs at on-campus recruiting events;
  6. Publicly committing to non-discriminatory hiring, including by publishing age-diverse photographs;
  7. Ensuring that complaint procedures address age discrimination claims;
  8. Implementing the changes under the direction of PwC's Chief Purpose & Inclusion Officer;
  9. Establishing a fifteen-month window immediately following adoption of the settlement during which aggrieved applicants could request compensation in excess of the settlement amount; and
  10. Continuing jurisdiction by the Court.
The programmatic relief was to last for two years following adoption of the settlement. Approval of the proposed settlement is pending, and the case is ongoing.

Cade Boland - 10/12/2017
Sichun Liu - 03/21/2019
Hope Brinn - 05/17/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Plaintiff Description A certified public accountant over the age of 40 as part of a collective action whose members included "[a]ll individuals who, from October 18, 2013 forward, applied for a Covered Position (Associate, Experienced Associate, and Senior Associate) in PwC’s Tax or Assurance lines of service, met the minimum qualifications for the position to which they applied, were age 40 or older at the time of application, and were not hired"
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Outten & Golden
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 04/27/2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:16-cv-02276-JST (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0360-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Violations of ADEA and State Law [ECF# 1]
EE-CA-0360-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Violations of ADEA and State Laws [ECF# 42]
EE-CA-0360-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [ECF# 74] (236 F.Supp.3d 1126) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0360-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion For Certification [ECF# 103] (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0360-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Collective Certification [ECF# 236] (2018 WL 3585143) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0360-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Renewed Motion for Collective Certification [ECF# 274] (2019 WL 9078785) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0360-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/05/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Settlement Approval Order [ECF# 312]
EE-CA-0360-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kim, Sallie Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Tigar, Jon Steven (State Trial Court, N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0001 | EE-CA-0360-0004 | EE-CA-0360-0005 | EE-CA-0360-0007 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bansal, Lucy Brierly (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Klein, Adam T. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Kohrman, Daniel Benjamin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Liu, Jennifer Lin (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Mattes, Laura Iris (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
McCann, Laurie A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Rabinovich, Julia (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Sagafi, Jahan C (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Schrum−Herrera, Cristina (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Smith, Dara Swartz (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0002 | EE-CA-0360-0003 | EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Stewart, Melissa Lardo (New York) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0006 | EE-CA-0360-9000
Stromberg, Daniel (New York) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-0006
Stromberg, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Balassa, Gabor (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Briesacher, Christina Lynn (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Esser, Michael Phillip (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Nicklin, Emily (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Premo−Hopkins, Mark William (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000
Rabinovitz, Joshua Z (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0360-9000

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