Deal struck on PwC sexual harassment claims

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Deal struck on PwC sexual harassment claims

A multi-million dollar sexual harassment battle between accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and a former female employee has been settled in a confidential agreement.

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A multi-million dollar sexual harassment battle between accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and a former female employee has been settled in a confidential agreement.

Media reports indicate that Christina Rick and PwC settled the four-year fight before Federal Court judge Catherine Branson on Friday.

Rich’s claims of sexual harassment and a ‘boy’s club culture’ rocked the prestigious firm in 2005. PwC denied claims that the discriminatory and bullying culture had held her and other women back during her career with the firm from 1999 to 2004.

She also claimed that she had been sexually harassed and that offensive notes had been left under her door at a conference. At the time she left the company, Rich was earning $900,000 as the firm’s transfer pricing partner.

Big payout likely

Reportedly, Rich has now agreed to drop legal proceedings against PwC after reaching a confidential settlement last week. The exact amount will not be released, but in her original claim Rich was seeking $11m.

‘I would just like to thank my family, my friends, my many supporters, my legal team,’ Rich said outside the court last week. ‘It has been a long process and I am glad it is over.’

Stressful time

In a joint statement released by PwC and Rich, both parties said:

‘Ms Rich’s intention in pursuing her complaints was never to cause stress or concern to any individual, including Mr Stuart Edwards, and she regrets if any such individual has suffered stress.'

‘Ms Rich accepts Mr Edwards denies the allegations against him including his denial that he placed notes under the door at the Santa Monica conference and accepts that it was his belief that the kisses on the cheek were platonic.'

‘Equally PwC regrets that this has been a stressful time for Ms Rich.’


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