"Raucous Behavior" Triggers Another MSDW Discrimination Suit

August 15, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A female vice president at Morgan Stanley has filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming the firm's "ongoing and pervasive" corporate culture works against older women workers.

Barbara Fiebiger, 59, who has served as a vice president of US equity sales and marketing for Morgan Stanley since 1997, claims she has been denied promotions and raises because of her gender and age, according to Reuters.  The suit, filed late Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, seeks at least $25 million in damages.  .

Since joining the firm in 1988, she claims she has been paid less than her male peers and younger co-workers, despite having more experience and greater seniority.  Further, the suit alleges that since being promoted to her current position in 1997, Fiebiger has been denied further promotions within her area of expertise – positions that were instead given to younger men.

Fiebiger claims male co-workers and supervisors regularly use the terms “airhead,” “fashion plate,” and “dumb Jew,” when referring to women, and often engage in “raucous banter” about female employees’ appearance and sex life.

Last year, the EEOC filed a lawsuit alleging Morgan Stanley discriminated against Allison Schieffelin, a former star saleswoman, and as many as 100 women in the firm’s institutional-stock department. That suit is still pending.

Morgan Stanley has denied the earlier allegations.  A spokeswoman for the firm told reporters yesterday that the firm had not seen the Fiebiger suit. However, she said that the underlying claims of discrimination and a hostile work environment had been previously investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and dismissed earlier this year.