More Morgan Stanley Discrimination Settlement Talks Underway With EEOC

April 16, 2003 ( - The parties to a high-profile sex discrimination lawsuit involving Morgan Stanley spent much of the day Tuesday closeted with a federal judge in an effort to hammer out a settlement.

>After the session with US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, however, Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Philip Purcell and Cari Dominguez, chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), left without public comment, according to a Dow Jones report.

>Morgan Stanley turned away from one proposed disposition of the September 2001 lawsuit in which the EEOC charged that the securities firm discriminated against Allison Schieffelin, a former bond saleswoman, and as many as 100 women in the firm’s institutional-stock department. The sticking points of the settlement or the potential amount Morgan Stanley had been prepared to pay weren’t disclosed. After it was taken off the table, Berman – in an apparent sign of exasperation – ordered Purcell and Dominguez to court for Tuesday’s talks.

>Schieffelin, who made $1 million a year before she was fired by Morgan in October 2000, also attended the meeting. The EEOC claims the firm retaliated against Schieffelin after she complained of discrimination. Schieffelin declined to comment Tuesday.

>EEOC’s Dominguez said, “We’ve got a lot of homework to do” but wouldn’t elaborate. Purcell had no comment. Berman told the parties in open court at the start of the hearing that it was “unclear” to him whether the parties wanted to settle. At the end of the session, he said, “We’ve gone as far as we’re going to go today” and ordered Morgan and the EEOC to report back to him after they hold more discussions.