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LUX Radar:  Bank of America Accused of Gender Bias

LUXies, it seems that BofA is in the news once again and this time it has to do with facing a claim of gender discrimination! This lawsuit involves the newly acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. and a now employee of Bank of America.

The suit was filed last week in the Manhattan Federal Court, claiming that at the former Merrill Lynch & Co. there was discrimination against female brokers evident by the offer of ‘lower retention bonuses then male counterparts.’ This acquisition states that when BofA acquired the company they did not review the current bonus policies and simply, awarded them based on the existing process, which according to the claim discriminates against women brokers.

Because bonuses were based on “production,” or fees earned on client assets, the bonus distribution authorized by Bank of America “disproportionately disadvantages women and advantages white men as favored employees,” the complaint said. –via Reuters.com

Common practice when a company is acquired is for retention bonuses to be awarded to the existing brokers in order to entice them to stay on board through the transition and to reward top producers in reaching the seven figure pay scale.

It seems that when Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch & Co., they continued using the current practices in place without any regard to ‘fairness or equality’ for woman.

#8220;Bank of America acquired a company that had a history of mistreatment,” Linda Friedman, representing the plaintiff, went on. “Rather than acknowledge that, and be part of the solution to level the playing field, Bank of America picked up where Merrill Lynch left off.”

The case was brought by Jaime Goodman, a high-performing broker for Merrill, who’s sales production averaged $1 million over a decade. Goodman is seeking past damages from 1992 to the present for bonuses and pay that was never paid due to the biased bonus structure.

So LUXies, what do you think? Should BofA be responsible for past actions of the newly acquired Merril Lynch and Co.?

Tagged in: lawsuit, bank of america, broker structure, discrimination, gender bias, manhattan federal court, merrill lynch & co.,

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