Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley agreed last month to pay $54 million dollars to settle a class action sex discrimination lawsuit. The named plaintiff Allison Schieffelin, worked as Morgan Stanley as a bond seller up until being fired. She claimed that she was passed over for promotions because of her gender and then terminated. Schieffelin will receive $12 million from the settlement.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought the action along with Schieffelin which settled on the eve of trial, on behalf of hundreds of female employees who claimed that their male colleagues groped women, made lewd comments and regularly took Morgan Stanley clients on male only strip-club outings. The EEOC also claimed that Morgan Stanley engaged in sex discrimination by paying male employees higher compensation and refusing to promote female workers that were qualified to upper management positions.
Had the case not settled, it would have been the first sex discrimination suit brought by the EEOC against a Wall Street firm to actually go to trial. Almost all other Wall Street sex discrimination suits, including the cases filed against Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney have settled.
The settlement included implementing $2 million diversity training and anti-discrimination program at Morgan Stanley.
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