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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 22:48 GMT 23:48 UK
Morgan Stanley sued for sex bias
Allison Schieffelin
Allison Schieffelin claims she was paid less than male colleagues
A sex discrimination suit involving up to 100 women has been filed against the financial powerhouse Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in the US.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOOC) - a federal agency responsible for preventing workplace bias - is suing the brokerage on behalf of a top bond saleswoman, Allison Schieffelin, and up to 100 other female employees.

Women are still almost entirely excluded from the most important and powerful jobs at Morgan Stanley

Plaintiff Allison Schieffelim

It is the first major sex discrimination case brought by the agency against a Wall Street securities firm.

Commenting on the pending case, the EOOC said it had never filed a suit against a brokerage firm that involved so many potential victims.

Ms Schieffelin's, who was fired last October, claims that her gender prevented her from being promoted to managing director and caused her to be paid less then her male colleagues.

Morgan Stanley has denied the charges.

Schieffelin... was the highest-paid salesperson on her desk

Morgan Stanley statement
The EOOC said the names of other women who were coming forward would be sent to the bank in the near future.

It is alleged that the discrimination has been taking place since 1995.

The EEOC has also claimed that the bank has been making the investigation difficult.

And the agency says it was forced to call upon a federal judge to get Morgan Stanley to release basic documents needed for the investigation.

Frozen out

"Women are still almost entirely excluded from the most important and powerful jobs at Morgan Stanley," said Ms Schieffelin at a press conference.

But this claim is denied by the bank.

"Morgan Stanley flatly rejects the EEOC contentions that Schieffelin was discriminated against, noting that she was the highest-paid salesperson on her desk."

Ms Schieffelin was paid $1.35million dollars a year, but was not promoted to more senior, and highly paid, position.

"The job she claims she was denied because of gender bias in fact went to another woman," said Morgan Stanley in a statement.

Ms Schieffelin first filed a complaint against the firm in November 1998, and said that she was frozen out of contact with clients from that moment on.

She also said women were shut out of important social functions such as golf outings and trips.

See also:

13 Aug 01 | Business
Women still paid less than men
10 Apr 01 | Business
Laddism and the City
04 Sep 01 | Business
How to survive in the workplace
08 Feb 01 | Business
Record number of women in work
27 Mar 01 | Business
Womens' equal pay 'champions'
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