Business Case Studies, HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study, Gender Discrimination at Merrill Lynch

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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

Gender Discrimination at Merrill Lynch

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Gautami,T Phani Madhav

Industry: Banking, Insurance and Financial Services

Region:Usa Europe

Case Code: HRM0006

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Merrill Lynch, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, is maligned with accusations of gender discrimination. The company had to pay millions of dollars in compensation for these claims. By June 2004, it was confronted with two major sexual discrimination claims that may result in payouts of a few million dollars each. These cases seriously questioned the kind of culture in the company as well as the process of claim-resolution. It also caused the company to change some of its policies to curb any further discrimination in the future.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the several cases of discrimination, victimisation and unequal treatment meted out to female employees at Merill Lynch over the last few years
  • To discuss the implications of class-action suits that were raised by over 900 of Merrill Lynch employees and the entire process of handling the dispute
  • To discuss whether the changes in policies of the company are sufficient to prevent instances of discrimination and class action suits in future.

Keywords :  Corporate Social Responsibility Case Study Gender discrimination suits, Merrill Lynch, Stephanie Villalba, Women employees, Stowell & Friedman, Hydie Sumner, Mandatory arbitration, New accounts distribution policy


  • Introduction
  • Merrill Lynch – A Brief Profile
  • Cases of Gender Discrimination

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