After recently agreeing to pay millions to black employees, Merrill Lynch is now going to pay a class of women $39 million. Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America.
Merrill Lynch has been accused of bias against women in business opportunities, in compensation, in professional support and numerous other terms and conditions of employment. These women have claimed that management gave the career making lucrative clients to men and was less likely to promote women. Women who complained were subjected to retaliation. The plaintiffs’ also assert that they were urged to read Seducing the Boys’ Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top. This book apparently encourages women to bolster the egos of men with compliments such as “Wow, you look great. Been working out?” The Merrill Lynch women were also encouraged to attend events for women only such as “dressing for success.”
The payment will be divided between 4,800 women who were employed by Merrill Lynch between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, the company has agreed to bring in an “applied organizational psychologist” to study the consequences on gender of its policies. Notwithstanding the large payout, Merrill Lynch denies it engaged in any wrongdoing