Friday, May 18, 2007

Discrimination: Adding to the List

Back during "Imus week" I decided to compile a list from my own blog posts of "far better examples of the race problem than the blunderings of a shock jock." At that time the list had six entries; and, having just read a story that Jonathan Stempel filed for Reuters, I am ready to add to it. This justification is in Stempel's one-sentence lead:

Five black current and former employees of Bank of America Corp. have sued the second-largest U.S. bank, accusing it of racial discrimination by steering lucrative clients to their white counterparts.

The complaint runs 29 pages (which should be some indication of the number of examples cited) and has been well summarized by Stempel. He also pointed out that this is not an isolated case in the financial sector:

Other brokerages have also faced bias lawsuits accusing them, among other issues, of steering wealthy clients to particular groups of workers.

Merrill Lynch & Co. faces an 18-month-old lawsuit in Chicago by African-American brokers and trainees. Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, last month agreed to pay $46 million to settle bias accusations by six former female brokers.

Apparently, this is still very much an old-boy-network business (as the female brokers at Morgan Stanley discovered); and the old boys are still white!

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