Judge Opens Morgan Stanley Pay, Promotion Info

June 4, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal judge has turned aside a bid from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. to limit disclosure of company salary and promotion data as part of a gender discrimination suit.

US Magistrate Ronald Ellis accepted the argument of lawyers for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who claimed women, other than the 22 now a part of the EEOC lawsuit filed in September (see EEOC Charges Morgan Stanley With Gender Discrimination ), need Morgan Stanley salary data to know if they are victims, according to a Dow Jones news report.

“Because compensation and promotion data is such a closely guarded secret, many women may not know definitively if they were victims of discrimination,” Ellis wrote in his decision.

Morgan Stanley lawyers argued to Ellis that they were afraid the confidential data would be made public if it was given to women not a part of the EEOC suit.

In his order, Judge Ellis said all potential class members/plaintiffs must sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing the data.

In its suit, the EEOC alleges that Morgan Stanley discriminated against Allison Schieffelin, a former convertible bond sales representative, and as many as 100 other women at the company.

The EEOC also told the court that it hasn’t been able to provide a more precise list of claimants because case files and other records were lost when the agency’s office was destroyed in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.