SOURCE: Mehri & Skalet, PLLC

May 01, 2008 06:00 ET

Court Grants Preliminary Approval of $33 Million Gender Class Action Settlement With Smith Barney

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 1, 2008) - Late yesterday, a federal court granted preliminary approval of a $33 million settlement with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. d/b/a Smith Barney, on behalf of all women employed as Financial Advisors in (i) the United States branches of Smith Barney's retail brokerage division at any time from August 24, 2003 through March 1, 2008 or (ii) the California branches of Smith Barney's retail brokerage division at any time from June 25, 2003 through March 1, 2008. Plaintiffs alleged that Smith Barney discriminated against female Financial Advisors in compensation and business opportunities.

The parties entered into a four-year settlement agreement that received preliminary Court approval yesterday. It includes comprehensive injunctive relief regarding compensation, account distribution policies, partnership arrangements, branch manager promotions, retention, diversity training, and complaint processing, among other things. The settlement calls for the appointment of an independent Diversity Monitor and an independent Industrial Psychologist to effectuate the terms of the Agreement. In addition, the settlement establishes a class monetary fund of $33 million, plus interest as of December 15, 2007. A Claims Administrator is expected to determine the allocation of monies among class members.

Adam Klein stated, "We are pleased that the Court took the next step in the settlement process."

Cyrus Mehri explained, "The programmatic relief in this agreement will level the playing field for distribution of business opportunities going forward. We are very proud of our named plaintiffs for being catalysts for change."

"The court order is a positive step for the plaintiffs and the class," said Kelly M. Dermody, a partner in Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Co-Lead Class Counsel.

The settlement was the result of intensive negotiations supervised by experienced neutral mediator Hunter Hughes, Esq., of Atlanta, Georgia.

The four law firms representing plaintiffs are Outten & Golden, LLP, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Altshuler Berzon, LLP.

Reporters seeking further information or a copy of the complaint should contact Devi Chandrasekaran at dchandrasekaran@findjustice.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel:

    Adam T. Klein
    Outten & Golden, LLP
    (212) 245-1000

    Kelly M. Dermody
    Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
    (415) 956-1000

    Cyrus Mehri
    Mehri & Skalet, PLLC
    (202) 822-5100