Merrill Lynch to Pay $180 Million in Race Bias Case

Accused of steering blacks into clerical positions and giving the best accounts to white workers


Merrill Lynch agreed to pay $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit that was filed in Chicago and went through two appeals at the United States Supreme Court, according to reports.

The settlement would be the largest sum ever distributed to plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit against an American employer, according to the New York Times, which citing the plaintiff's lawyer as the source if its report about the deal.

Longtime Merrill broker George McReynolds filed the lawsuit in 2005 accusing the brokerage of steering blacks into clerical positions and diverting lucrative accounts to white brokers, resulting in lower pay and fewer career growth opportunities. He continues to work for Merrill Lynch in Nashville, Tenn.