Thursday, August 14, 2008

Smith Barney Settles Sex Discrimination Suit for $33 million

Testimonials_shaking_handsThe San Francisco chronicle reports that the District Court for the Northern District of California approved a settlement agreement today between Smith Barney, and a class of more than 2400 current and former female brokers. The brokers had alleged that the firm favored men in pay, promotions and client assignments. The client assignments resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions for the men assigned to those clients. It sounds (based on my rough math $33 million divided by 2400 is something less than $14000) like Smith Barney got a good deal in the settlement (assuming the named plaintiffs had enough evidence to prevail).

MM

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Smith Barney
Before You Ask Smith Barney to Manage Your Assets, Listen to These Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination Allegations
• 26 women have filed a class action suit in federal court claiming sexual harassment and sex discrimination at Smith Barney.
• No more than 13% of the company's 11,000 brokers are women.* Attorneys for the women plaintiffs allege only 5% of the firm's brokers are women.
• Only 8 of 390 Smith Barney branch managers are women.*
• Attorneys for the women say they have received complaints about Smith Barney from as many as 100 women.
Branch Office Complaints from Coast to Coast:
• Garden City, N.Y. — A former branch manager allegedly brandished a gun and used vulgar sexist slurs. The same manager has been accused of furnishing a "Boom Boom Room" where he served male brokers bloody marys and they joked about sexual harassment complaints.
• Richmond, Va. — Women workers charge that a branch manager told women workers at a Christmas party he would pay them $100 if they took off their shirts.
• Knoxville, Tenn. — Allegedly, a branch manager would say of women in the office that "she needs a good (expletive) and I can give it to her."
• Kansas City, Mo. — A woman claims that her branch manager failed to direct accounts from departing brokers to her, while routinely giving such accounts to younger, less experienced male brokers.
• Seattle, Wash. — A woman states that she found her job was cut when she returned from maternity leave.

Posted by: dmb | Sep 19, 2008 8:47:07 AM

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