Citigroup to Pay Up in Smith Barney Gender Case

A federal judge today granted final approval to Citigroup Inc.'s $33 million settlement to resolve a gender bias lawsuit against its Smith Barney unit, Reuters reports.

The original March 2005 suit was brought by Smith Barney female brokers, who accused the firm of barring women from competing fairly for new accounts, promotions, and pay, as well as not providing equal training and support for women.

According to the report, Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco signed off on the settlement at a hearing this morning, after granting preliminary approval in April (see Citigroup Settles Gender Discrimination for $33M). The settlement was originally expected to cover about 2,500 current and former female brokers. More than 1,285 submitted claim forms, lawyers for the plaintiffs told Reuters.

As part of the settlement, Citigroup agreed to change some business practices and appoint an independent diversity monitor but has denied wrongdoing, according to the news report.