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Morgan Stanley settles sex lawsuit for $54 million
Agencies | July 13, 2004 19:36 IST
Last Updated: July 13, 2004 20:01 IST
Morgan Stanley, the world's second-biggest securities firm, has agreed to pay $54 million to settle a sex-bias suit, said a New York Times report.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case brought the case against the Wall Street investment bank.
Allison Schieffelin, 42, a former bond saleswoman whose 1998 complaint to the EEOC led to the sex-bias suit against Morgan Stanley, is set to obtain $12 million from the settlement.
The investment bank agreed to pay women in its institutional equity division a total of $54 million, which includes $12 million to Allison Schieffelin who was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Schieffelin said she was denied a managing director's post and was fired in retaliation for filing her complaint with the EEOC.
She accused the firm of destroying her career and sought up to $72 million in damages. Morgan Stanley had denied all bias claims and said she had been fired in 2000 after her outburst against her boss.
For Morgan Stanley $54 million amounts to just four days of profit.
Morgan Stanley agreed to take 'far-reaching' steps to enhance diversity, including hiring an outside monitor, the judge in the case said, reported NYT.
The settlement is the third by a Wall Street investment bank. Citigroup's Smith Barney unit and Merrill Lynch have settled earlier gender-bias cases.
"It's a watershed in safeguarding and promoting the rights of women on Wall Street," US District Judge Richard Berman was quoted as having said.
Morgan Stanley, as part of the settlement, denied any discrimination.
"We are proud of our commitment to diversity," Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer Philip Purcell said in a statement. "We look forward to working with the EEOC in accomplishing our common goals."
"All I want to say is I'm so happy that there's a great settlement that's good for everybody," Schieffelin was quoted as saying.
The Morgan Stanley case is the second-biggest settlement of a sex-bias suit. The biggest was the 1997 settlement with Publix Super Markets for $81.5 million.