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This article discusses several lawsuits against discrimination of women and minorities in firms that deal with financial services. The article begins by noting that the AEFA case was the first major class action lawsuit involving a financial-services enterprise. After the AEFA lawsuit, several individuals proceeded to file lawsuits against major and reputable financial services firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase Bank. According to the article, most of the lawsuits involve private firms. In addition, most of the lawsuits that are outlined by article vary in size where some only cater for a few hundred complainants while others cater for thousands of individuals. The article then continues to outline various examples of lawsuits against financial services providers involving discrimination of women and minorities. Some of the most significant lawsuits that are described in this article include the Augst-Johnson v. Morgan Stanley (Hegewisch, Deitch, and Murphy 99).
In this court case, eight women filed charges of discrimination against Morgan Stanley and included a class of all women employees in their lawsuit. The article cites some of the most significant judgments in the history of financial services sector and they include the $46 million judgment against Morgan Stanley, $33 million against Smith Barney, and $32 million against Wells Fargo. The article concludes by noting the lessons that can be drawn from the outlined lawsuits.
The topic that is presented by the authors is quite relevant to all stakeholders in firms that deal with financial services. Furthermore, the authors of this article present an easy breakdown of cases that involve women and minorities on one hand and financial services on the other. My previous understanding of timelines that touch on discrimination issues in the workplace has been amended by this article. It is important to note that most of the cases that are presented by the authors only happened in the last three decades. Consequently, it is clear that issues of discrimination within the ranks of financial services only became apparent during the last quarter century. These class action lawsuits concerning discrimination of women and minorities are a culmination of the Civil Rights struggles that characterized the American industries between the 1960s and 1980s (Robinson and Dechant 22).
Nevertheless, while issues of discrimination in industrial firms were addressed first, these same problems took longer to address within the financial services industry. One issue that appealed to me when I was reading the article is the repetitive nature of the discrimination offenses. The outline of these cases indicates that companies such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are ‘repeat offenders’ when it comes to issues of discrimination. This pattern indicates that issues of discrimination are hard to implement even within company environments.
Personal Reaction and Application of the Article
One issue that became apparent after reading this article is that the description of the cases touches more on the people and not the amounts. This approach is important because the authors are able to focus on the discrimination aspect of the topic and not the financial remuneration. If the article had focused too much on the dollar amounts within the lawsuits, it would have ended up being one-sided and negative in nature. This article can be used by financial companies when they are instituting their human resource policies. Some of the cases that have been outlined in this article reveal some of the mistakes that companies make in the course of their human resource administration. Overall, the article is valuable to the readers because it is simple and self-explanatory in nature.
Hegewisch, Ariane, Cynthia Deitch, and Evelyn Murphy. Ending sex and race discrimination in the workplace: Legal interventions that push the envelope, Washington: Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2011. Print.
Robinson, Gail, and Kathleen Dechant. “Building a business case for diversity.” The Academy of Management Executive 11.3 (2007): 21-31. Print.