Judge OKs Merrill Lynch gender settlement

June 19, 1998
As many as 2,500 women will be told they might be eligible for compensation from Merrill Lynch & Co. now that a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a gender discrimination lawsuit.
      Eight female financial consultants sued the nation's largest brokerage firm in February 1997, claiming the company unfairly directed business to their male colleagues. The women won class-action status and represented 2,500 current and former brokers in the lawsuit.
      In a conference call with lawyers from both sides Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo said, ``This (settlement) document easily, easily meets the criteria for preliminary approval, and so I am happy to give it preliminary approval today.''