Will BofA Learn After $200M in Discrimination Settlements?

Bank of America

Wall Street has never been known to have the most diverse workforce, and Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch is going to pay a hefty price for a gender bias suit made public this week. According to a Reuters report, BofA will settle for $39 million for policies reflecting gender bias toward female employees. Following a $160 million lawsuit for racial bias at Merrill, Bank of America now has 200 million reasons to adjust workplace policies.

Merrill employees filed the gender bias suit in 2007, according to Reuters, and the original plaintiff was based in Miami. Over time, several female brokers joined the suit, which court papers revealed as finally settled as of this week. The news outlet reports that a three-year process of improving business practices at BofA is included in the language of the settlement.

The racial bias suit stemmed from 2005, and was reported as settled in the past weeks. According to The New York Times, 700 black brokers agreed to settle that suit, which included $160 million in payouts. Merrill’s reported 75:1 ratio of white to black brokers as of 2005 did not make a strong case for the firm, which had businesses in 25 states without a single black broker, the Times reported.