Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Ouch, That Hurts: Morgan Stanley Settles Sex-Bias Suit For $54 Million

A couple of snippets from The Wall Street Journal (7/13/04) and The New York Times (7/13/04):

• Morgan Stanley (MS) agreed yesterday to pay $54 million to settle a sex discrimination case rather than stand trial on the federal government's accusation that it denied equal pay and promotions to women in a division of its investment bank.
• The settlement, which could cover as many as 340 women, is the second largest the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reached with a company it sued and is the first with a major securities firm.
• Of the $54 million being paid by Morgan Stanley, $12 million will be paid to Allison Schieffelin, a 43-year-old former saleswoman whose repeated complaints of discrimination prompted the EEOC to file its class-action suit on September 10, 2001.
• Morgan Stanley agreed as part of a three-year consent decree to hire an outsider to monitor its hiring, pay and promotion practices for gender bias, field employee complaints and enhance its anti-discrimination training.
• As part of its suit on behalf of about 340 current and former female Morgan Stanley employees in the department, the EEOC claimed that women were systematically held back from promotions and pay raises, and that they had endured coarse behavior and lewd comments from their male colleagues and supervisors.
• It also alleged that women were excluded from sales outings with clients to golf resorts and strip clubs.
• Further, had the case not been settled, the EEOC was expected to present allegations including that some male Morgan Stanley employees ordered breast-shaped birthday cakes and hired strippers to entertain them while at work.
• Richard Berman, the judge in the Morgan Stanley case, described the settlement agreement as: "a watershed event" in "protecting the rights of women on Wall Street.'"

And we wonder why women are leaving Corporate America? Let's hear it for Allison Schieffelin!

No comments: