Merrill Advisers Sue for Gender Discrimination

Three female financial advisers have filed a lawsuit charging gender discrimination at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

According to a news release from plaintiffs’ attorneys, Calibuso, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al. charges that Bank of America and Merrill Lynch have engaged in a pattern and practice of gender discrimination against their female financial advisers with respect to business opportunities, compensation, professional support, and other terms and conditions of employment. The women allege violations of federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the Florida Civil Rights Act.     

The complaint charges that, among other things, Merrill Lynch, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America, discriminates against female financial advisers in account distributions; partnership opportunities; upfront money, pay-out rate, and other benefits in its compensation plan; as well as in other opportunities for brokers to increase their income. The women also accuse the firm’s of retaliation in response to complaints of discrimination.     

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The plaintiffs seek an end to the alleged discriminatory policies and/or practices and retaliation, injunctive and declaratory relief, an award of back pay and front pay, and compensatory and punitive damages, the news release said.