Class Sues Ernst & Young Over Contract

     SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – A class action claims Ernst & Young offers job contracts to graduating college seniors that “compel” them “to work for EY to the exclusion of all other employers,” but allow the company “to legally renege or cancel the offer of employment” if the senior does not maintain a vague “strong academic standing.” The named plaintiff says Ernst & Young withdrew her job offer because she got “a couple of C grades” during her senior year.

     In her complaint in Orange County Court, named plaintiff Yunjung Gribben, 43, says she graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a 3.6 grade point average. She says Ernst & Young offered her a job with a starting annual salary of $50,000, then pulled the offer, after she graduated, because of “a couple of C grades she had received in accounting during her senior year at CSUF.”
     Her job contract stated: “Please note that this employment arrangement is subject to the completion of the degree you are currently pursuing with continued strong academic standing.”
     Gribben says “continued strong academic standing” is never defined, save for a “hazy reference” on Ernst & Young’s Web site.
     Gribben says that after she signed the employment contract she was so happy to have the job right out of school that she did not look for other work.
     After working for Ernst & Young for a month, Gribben says, she got a call from human resources, questioning her about the C’s she got in her senior year.
     She says she was fired the next days.
     Gribben adds that “younger employees were allowed to stay at the company.”
     Gribben says she is not the first student Ernst & Young subjected to this treatment, citing its vague reference to “continued strong academic standing.”
     She seeks class damages for wrongful termination, age discrimination, breach of employment, specific performance and violations of the Labor Code.
     Gribben is represented by Dale Fiola of Anaheim.

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