Women to Collect $39M From Bank of America, Merrill Lynch in Settlement of Sex Bias Lawsuit

Thousands of women who worked as financial advisers or trainees for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch might want to raise their champagne glasses tonight to toast their good fortune in partaking of a large monetary settlement of their sex discrimination class action against those financial giants.

Last Friday U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Chen gave final approval to terms of a settlement that will oblige the companies to pay $39 million to resolve the womens’ claims. The plaintiffs alleged violations¬†of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, and state antidiscrimination laws in the companies’ pay practices.

A large chunk of the award–more than $12 million–will go to their attorney’s fees and costs. Still, it’s a substantial amount of money for the plaintiffs.

And speaking of pay, the minimum wage goes up in 13 states at the stroke of midnight. The largest increases will occur in New Jersey ($8.25 per hour); New York ($8); Connecticut ($8.70) and Rhode Island ($8).

The other states raising their minimum wages as of Jan. 1 are Washington ($9.32); Oregon ($9.10); Arizona ($7.90); Colorado ($8); Florida ($7.93); Missouri ($7.50); Montana ($7.90); Ohio ($7.95); and Vermont ($8.73).

Happy New Year everyone! Back blogging in 2014- tomorrow.

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