Posts Tagged ‘Merrill Lynch’

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.

Title VII Class Action by African American Brokers Against Merrill Lynch May Proceed

Merrill Lynch did not get the reprieve it wanted from the U.S. Supreme Court today, as the justices declined to accept the brokerage firm’s appeal from the grant of class action status to an employment discrimination suit brought against it by African American brokers.

The lawsuit accuses Merrill of steering blacks into clerical positions and diverting lucrative accounts to white brokers, resulting in lower pay and fewer career growth opportunities.

Merrill appealed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit allowed the class action to proceed, claiming that the appeals court did not properly apply the Supreme Court’s ruling that stopped a major employment discrimination lawsuit by female applicants and employees against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The 7th Circuit ruled for the plaintiffs in February, and in September ruled that they could try to prove losses over the bonuses as part of their overall damages.

The case is Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc v. McReynolds et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-113.¬† The ruling denying the appeal came on the opening day of the high court’s 2012-2013 term, which has a few other employment law cases on the docket.