UBS Ordered to Pay $29 Million in Sex Bias Lawsuit

New York Times - by EDUARDO PORTER
April 7, 2005

[In this article, Wayne Outten commented on a major victory in a sex discrimination case against UBS handled by another firm, Liddle & Robinson.   Outten & Golden represented a third-party witness who was subpoenaed to testify by plaintiff’s counsel.]

In one of the largest discrimination awards to a single plaintiff on record, UBS, Europe’s largest bank, was ordered by a federal jury in New York to pay more than $29 million in damages to a former saleswoman who sued the firm for sex discrimination.

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Wayne N. Outten, a lawyer with Outten & Golden who has represented plaintiffs in other prominent sex discrimination cases against Wall Street firms, said the award was “certainly amongst the biggest” given to a single plaintiff in an employee discrimination case.

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The verdict against UBS is the latest in a series of legal actions against Wall Street houses and other financial firms for sexual discrimination against women executives. Last July, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $54 million to settle a discrimination suit brought by the employment commission on behalf of Allison Schieffelin, a former bond trader, and 300 other women. Also last year, an arbitration panel ordered Merrill Lynch to pay $2.2 million to a former broker, E. Hydie Sumner, who charged the firm with harassment and discrimination.

Just last week, a group of women brokers sued Smith Barney, a unit of Citigroup, charging that their managers steered the best accounts to male colleagues.

“There will be others – more and more women are saying, ‘I don’t have to put up with this,’ ” said Mr. Outten, who represented Ms. Schieffelin in the Morgan Stanley case and works for one of the three law firms representing the women in the Smith Barney suit.

“A lot of different things are coming together,” Mr. Outten added. “There’s a large number of women going into business school and law school to join the business world and are running into the glass ceiling.”

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