Citigroup to pay $33 million in gender-Bias settlement — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Citigroup to pay $33 million in gender-Bias settlement

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Citigroup will pay $33 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by three female brokers who worked in the Santa Barbara office of Smith Barney, a Citigroup unit. As many as 2,500 former and current Smith Barney female brokers may end up sharing in the settlement pot.

At the heart of the complaint, originally filed in 2005, were charges that female financial consultants were denied equal opportunities. They argued that branch managers steered clients to male brokers and didn’t provide female brokers with partnership opportunities. They also claimed they received less desirable offices, less training and less sales support than their male counterparts.

Smith Barney and Citigroup have agreed to make substantial changes, including creating evenhanded methods for distributing new clients and getting more females into partnership slots. An industrial psychologist will monitor the efforts and oversee compliance.

The three original plaintiffs will receive $50,000 each, plus a share of the total pot. Their attorneys get $6.5 million for their efforts.

Final tip: Is your organization next? It may be if you don’t have a fair system to allocate leads and business for employees whose earnings depend on sales and commissions. A set system that guards against playing favorites is a good idea.

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