Three female financial advisors at Merrill Lynch’s Manhattan-based flagship offices claim that they were subjected to gender discrimination at the hands of an overbearing boss, according to court documents filed in New York State Court this week. The employees allege that they were respectively told to “stick to knitting” rather than going after new clients, relegated to answering telephones rather than handling accounts and given a book entitled “Seducing the [Old] Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics from a Woman at the Top.”
In the first lawsuit, the three employees joined together to allege that their employment was unlawfully terminated in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law. Merrill Lynch claims that the women were later fired as part of a large-scale layoff a mere seven months after they had been hired. To date, two separate lawsuits have been filed against the investment giant:
In one case, Merrill Lynch’s motion for summary judgment was granted by the federal court judge, who dismissed the case without prejudice. In the court documents, the judge states that the discrimination experienced by these women was not “sufficiently deep or pervasive” to be considered a direct cause of the wrongful termination.
A new lawsuit is now pending before the New York state court. In this case, the former employees allege discrimination in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). According to the New York Post, Merrill Lynch issued the following statement in response to the allegations: “Diversity and inclusivity are part of our culture and core values.” It is also interesting to note that the offending supervisor has since been fired by Merrill Lynch.
Posted in Civil Litigation, Employment Discrimination
Tagged Civil Rights Act, employment law, gender discrimination, Human Rights Law, Merrill Lynch