Morgan Stanley Steps Away From Bias Suit Settlement

March 17, 2003 ( - Morgan Stanley has backed away from a possible settlement in a sexual discrimination lawsuit.

The suit, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, alleged Morgan Stanley discriminated against female employees in preventing their advancement to the positions and salaries held almost exclusively by their male counterparts.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the suit in September 2001 on behalf of sales representative Allison Schieffelin and as many as 100 women in the firm’s institutional stock department (See  EEOC Charges Morgan Stanley With Gender Discrimination ), according to an Associated Press report.

Morgan Stanley denied the allegations, and countered saying Schieffelin, who was employed with the brokerage house for 15 years, was dismissed after she initiated a confrontation with a supervisor. The company and the EEOC had been in discussions for more than a year and had settled the monetary terms of a settlement, with other details to be resolved, EEOC attorney Elizabeth Grossman said in the AP report.

However, at a hearing on March 13, Morgan Stanley’s legal counsel told District Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York the firm was backing out of the settlement. Another hearing in the case has been set for March 31 and Berman has told the chairman of Morgan Stanley and the EEOC to attend that hearing.