Skip to Content

Does Ernst & Young Pay Overtime? Revealed

Ernst & Young (EY) is known for its prestigious reputation and high-quality services in the accounting and consulting industry. But do they pay overtime?

After extensive research, I discovered that Ernst & Young only pay overtime to its non-exempt workers. The company offers alternative benefits to compensate its exempt employees for their extra work, such as: 

  • Compensation based on performance
  • Compensatory time off
  • Greater flexibility in the work schedule
  • Additional annual leave

In this article, I’ll answer “Does Ernst & Young pay overtime to its employees” in-depth and explore alternative compensation options other Big 4 companies offer. I will also discuss the lawsuits against EY for not paying overtime to its workers

Ernst & Young’s Policy on Overtime Pay

Whether Ernst & Young (EY) pays overtime to its employees depends on the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees and the applicable labor laws.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) directs employers that they must pay non-exempt employees overtime, which should be 1.5 times higher than their regular pay rate for more than 40 in a workweek.


Comparatively, exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay, as they are free from the overtime provisions of FLSA or other relevant labor laws.

An EY employee on Fishbowl states, “The entire concept of “overtime” is based on governmental regulations that protect certain classes of workers to ensure they receive additional pay/benefits for working “overtime.” If you’re an exempt employee (which everyone on here is) then there is no “overtime.”


For a clearer understanding of the two categories of workers, the table below presents examples of both exempt and non-exempt employees in EY:

Exempt Employees Non-exempt Employees 
PartnerAdministrative Assistant
Senior ManagerStaff Accountant 
Tax Consultant Auditor
Senior Consultant IT Support Specialist

Alternative Compensation for Exempt Employees at Ernst & Young

In recent years, Ernst & Young has been exploring alternative compensation options for exempt employees who work overtime to provide recognition and appreciation for the hard work that they put in.

Let me guide you through these compensation plans for exempt employees at EY:

1. Performance-Based Compensation

Ernst & Young may offer performance-based bonuses to its exempt employees in an effort to reward them for their contributions other than their regular work time. These bonuses include:


2. Compensatory Time Off

While most employers are generally not obligated to provide compensatory time off to exempt employees, Ernst & Young may grant such time off to its workers who have worked extensively or during busy seasons.


3. Flexibility in Scheduling

Exempt employees who consistently work extra hours have the option for greater flexibility in their work schedules. This could include options such as:

  • Adjusted start or end times
  • Opportunity to work from home at certain times a month
  • Shorter work-weeks 

4. Additional Annual Leave

To compensate for the extra effort, EY may offer additional annual leave days or an increased accrual rate for vacation time to its employees.

Comparison of Ernst & Young’s Overtime Policy to Other Big 4 Firms

The overtime policies of Ernst & Young for its employees are more or less the same when compared to those of PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG. However, there are some differences in the alternative benefits each company offers. 

1. PwC

PwC goes above and beyond in acknowledging and rewarding the extra contributions of its employees by providing them with a wide range of alternative compensation benefits.

These benefits encompass various options, including:

  • Reduced working hours
  • Additional vacation days to relax
  • Compensatory rest 
  • Opportunity to work fewer days

An employee at PwC states the monetary and non-monetary benefits offered by the company on Glassdoor: flexible working, on-site gym, overtime can be paid financially or time in lieu, good work/life balance most of the time.”



KPMG distinguishes itself from EY by offering employees a unique range of compensation benefits for overtime.

These benefits include allowances, loans, and reimbursements, which aim to alleviate the financial burdens of the individuals working at the company.

The firm values the well-being and satisfaction of its employees by offering lifestyle bonuses and rewards that recognize and celebrate their dedication and accomplishments.

Moreover, KPMG goes the extra mile in promoting a healthy lifestyle by providing health and fitness plans, enabling employees to prioritize their physical and mental well-being. 

The company also extends its support to apprentices and interns, ensuring they receive adequate compensation and opportunities for growth and development.


3. Deloitte

Deloitte acknowledges and appreciates the commitment of its exempt employees to working overtime by providing them with a diverse array of alternative benefits.

One such benefit is time off in lieu, which allows employees to recharge and restore their work-life balance. 

Deloitte also provides additional incentives and bonuses to acknowledge the extra contributions of its workers, further motivating and encouraging their continued dedication.

To add to the mix, the company prioritizes the career growth of its employees by offering them ample opportunities for enhancing their skills and expertise through various professional development programs. 


Lawsuits Against Ernst & Young for Unpaid Overtime

Ernst & Young has faced several lawsuits over the years for unpaid overtime. The lawsuits allege that the firm has violated federal and state labor laws by misclassifying its employees as exempt from overtime pay. 

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits strongly claim that they were regularly required to work long hours, including weekends and holidays, without receiving any additional compensation. 

While EY has denied these allegations, the lawsuits have brought attention to the issue of unpaid overtime in the accounting industry and have led to calls for greater protections for workers in this field.



  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.