Court grants class action status to Merrill Lynch discrimination suit

Appeals court reverses earlier ruling, citing questionable companywide policies

Black financial advisers suing Merrill Lynch for alleged discrimination can pursue a class action suit after the 7th Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling Friday.

George McReynolds, a Merrill employee for 28 years, brought the original lawsuit in 2005, alleging that the brokerage firm relegated black employees to lower-level positions and created a hostile working environment. Last year, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled that there was not enough evidence to pursue the case. After last week’s reversal, however, up to 700 current and former brokers can join the suit.

Alanna Byrne

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