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Morgan settles gender bias case for $54M

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Morgan settles gender bias case for $54M

Wall Street firm settles sex discrimination charges brought by equal job opportunity regulators.

July 12, 2004: 3:40 PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $54 million to settle sex bias charges brought by U.S. employment regulators in a deal that will keep the case out of court, a federal judge said Monday.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman announced the settlement just as opening statements were to begin in the trial.

The settlement will allow the Wall Street powerhouse to avoid a public showdown over claims it has denied hundreds of women raises and promotions while ignoring lewd male behavior.

Opening statements in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 2001 discrimination suit had been set to begin in Manhattan federal court on Monday. It would have been the nation's first gender bias trial of a brokerage firm based on the commission's claims.

The case was brought on behalf of more than 300 women who have worked in the company's institutional-equities division since 1995.

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