Protest Expected at Mama Merrill Meeting

April 25, 2002 ( - Charging that Merrill Lynch continues to foster a "workplace environment of discrimination," a group of female brokers announced plans to make their dispute public by protesting at Merrill's annual meeting again.

The women, who have protested at the firm’s annual meetings before, insist that Merrill has violated a 1998 settlement of a 1997 lawsuit that charged Merrill discriminated against them with unequal pay and promotion opportunities, according to a Dow Jones news report.

The class action suit now includes about 900 current and former Merrill workers.

“We have clearly recognized that there was inappropriate behavior in certain cases,” said Selena Morris, a spokeswoman for Merrill, told Dow Jones.

She said the firm is following the court-approved process and that more than 83% of the claims have been resolved. “In the last 15 months alone, we have resolved more than 550 claims,” Morris said, adding that the firm has made offers to virtually all class members.