Female financial advisers employed by Morgan Stanley, a financial services firm, filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII and the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, alleging that Morgan Stanley had a systemic pattern and practice of ...
read more >
Female financial advisers employed by Morgan Stanley, a financial services firm, filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII and the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, alleging that Morgan Stanley had a systemic pattern and practice of discriminating against female employees in compensation, promotions, and other areas. The Court
Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that Morgan Stanley discriminated against its female financial advisors in promotions, compensation, business, referrals, training, mentoring, and "partnership" agreements, among other areas. The complaint sought to certify a class of "[a]ll women employed by Morgan Stanley as financial advisers at any time between August 5, 2003 and the present." The complaint sought: a declaratory judgment; front pay, benefits, back pay, compensatory and puntive damages; liquidated damages for the ADEA claim to the individual plaintiffs; injunctive relief forcing the defendant to cease discrimination and develop new policies; and attorneys' fees, experts' fees, and costs.
On October 16, 2007, the District Court (Judge Richard W. Roberts) certified the class, approved a settlement agreement, and approved attorneys' fees and costs. The Court retained jurisdiction over administration of the settlement. The settlement applied to a class of all women employed as Morgan Stanley financial advisors or trainees employed from August 2003 to June 2007. The agreement has a term of five years and required the defendant to pay $46m; $32.5m of which was allocated for class members' claims and $13.5m for attorneys' fees, costs and monitoring and compliance. A special master was appointed to determine class members' awards based on their contributions to the defendant's business, the discrimination they faced, and other factors according to a formula detailed in the settlement.
The injunctive relief included: distributing an anti-harassment policy to all employees; posting positions on an internal job bank; establishing objective promotion and hiring criteria; implementing diveristy training; revising the "power ranking" system that ranks financial advisors' production; changing acocunt distrubiton and referral policies; implemening a complaint process; and other changes. The parties also agreed to appoint a diversity monitor who would report semi-annually to class counsel and to appoint industrial psychologists to develop programs to recruit and promote more women.
Morgan Stanley employees in California also filed a gender discrimination class action on the same day that the Augst-Johnson
action was filed. That case appeared on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's docket as 3:06-cv-03903-TEH. It appears in the Clearinghouse database as EE-CA-0334. However, the Northern District stayed that gender discrimination claims pending the outcome of Augst-Johnson
. In the end, the Jaffe
settlement dispensed only with claims of racial discrimination.Eric Weiler - 07/03/2010