Those old chickens are still coming home to roost. A National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) arbitration panel earlier this week awarded three former Merrill Lynch brokers in excess of $2m, after they complained of se.ual discrimination. It could have been worse - the brokers originally claimed $33m!
All three brokers, who left Merrill in 2000, worked in the firm's Princeton, New Jersey office. They claimed that they were discriminated against because of their gender, and said that Merrill paid them less because they were women. The award is one of the highest NASD payouts for a gender discrimination case.
Although Merrill boss Stan O'Neal has acknowledged that, in the past, women might not have been treated as professionally as they could have been, the firm said that, in this case, it didn't 'believe these claimants deserved any recovery'.
Merrill has cleaned up its act in the US and, under O'Neal's watch, will stand for no monkey business. The firm will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.