Smith Barney Bias Settlement Revised
Smith Barney Inc. and lawyers for women who sued the New York-based company alleging sex discrimination proposed an amended settlement to the federal judge who rejected their previous agreement. The nation’s No. 2 brokerage offered to let the judge, rather than an arbitrator, decide disputes over how money for Smith Barney’s affirmative action program for women should be spent. The amount of money spent on training and recruiting women will be tracked by an outside auditing firm and reported to the judge annually. The two sides submitted the revised plan to U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley, who last week said their previous settlement lacked specifics on how the firm would boost opportunities for female employees. The case attracted national attention because of graphic allegations that women in Smith Barney’s Garden City, N.Y., branch were sexually harassed and bombarded with lewd talk. The suit also charged that women were underpaid and denied promotions in Smith Barney offices nationwide. Smith Barney denied those allegations.