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Merrill Asks Panel to Let It Not Rehire Plaintiff

WALL ST. ROUNDUP

August 24, 2006|From Reuters

Merrill Lynch & Co. is asking an arbitration panel to excuse it from employing a former broker who successfully sued the company for $2.2 million.

Merrill claims it fulfilled its obligations to the former broker, Hydie Sumner, by offering her an associate director position in Oakland, a job it claims she specifically requested but has refused.

Sumner, who worked at Merrill from 1991 to 1997, has been seeking admission to the company's Management Assessment Center. She declined to comment on the litigation.

In the late 1990s, Merrill agreed to settle sexual discrimination claims by more than 900 female brokers, resulting in more than $100 million of payouts.

Sumner was one of a handful of plaintiffs to bring their claims under the settlement to arbitration and has been the only one to seek reinstatement at Merrill, said her lawyer, Linda Friedman.

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