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Case Name McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. EE-IL-0326
Docket / Court 1:08-cv-06105 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On October 24, 2008, a group of male and female African-American financial advisors filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against their employer, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ... read more >
On October 24, 2008, a group of male and female African-American financial advisors filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against their employer, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the Court for declaratory, monetary and injunctive relief, alleging that Merrill Lynch had engaged in a nationwide pattern and practice of race and gender discrimination and employed policies and practices that had a disparate impact on African-American and female financial advisors. Specifically, the employees claimed Merrill Lynch's recently announced bonus procedure disadvantaged African Americans and women because they were paid less than their white male colleagues.

All nine plaintiffs in this action were involved in another action against their employer for race discrimination, which ultimately reached settlement in August 2013.

In this case, on March 29, 2011, the District Court (Judge Gettleman) granted Merrill Lynch's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It held that the plaintiff's complaint contained insufficient factual allegations to make it plausible that the defendant's production-based compensation system was adopted with the intent to discriminate on the basis of race. Under Title VII Section 703(h), employers are allowed to compensate employees differently on the basis of seniority, merit, or quality or quantity of production unless the differences in compensation result from an intention to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

On October 3, 2012, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, holding that the plaintiffs did not assert any new claims from their earlier suit.

Kunyi Zhang - 01/23/2011
Christianna Kyriacou - 11/08/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Bank of America Corporation
Merrill Lynch &Co., Inc.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &Smith
Plaintiff Description Male and female African-American financial advisors employed at Merrill Lynch.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-IL-0282 : McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch & Co. (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:08-cv-06105 (N.D. Ill.) 10/03/2012
EE-IL-0326-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 10/24/2008
EE-IL-0326-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss 12/15/2010
EE-IL-0326-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss) 03/29/2011 (2011 WL 1196859) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0326-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (7th Cir.) 02/24/2012 (672 F.3d 482)
EE-IL-0326-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 09/11/2012 (694 F.3d 873)
EE-IL-0326-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gettleman, Robert William (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0326-0004 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Gilbert, Jeffrey Court not on record
EE-IL-0326-9000
Hamilton, David Frank (Seventh Circuit, S.D. Ind.)
EE-IL-0326-0003
Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
EE-IL-0326-0003
Sykes, Diane S. (Seventh Circuit)
EE-IL-0326-0005
Wood, Diane Pamela (Seventh Circuit)
EE-IL-0326-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bish, Suzanne Elaine (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-0001 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Friedman, Linda (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-0001 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Robot, George S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Stowell, Mary (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-0001
Defendant's Lawyers DiNardo, Lawrence C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Dinkoff, Allan (New York)
EE-IL-0326-0002 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Diomedi, Gina M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Hartog, Anna Kathryn (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Klein, Jeffrey S. (New York)
EE-IL-0326-0002 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Lightfoot, Lori E. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-0002 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Pappas, Nicholas J (New York)
EE-IL-0326-0002 | EE-IL-0326-9000
Romanello, Salvatore A. (New York)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Schulman, Efrat R. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Wencelblat, Patricia (New York)
EE-IL-0326-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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