Broadcast: July 23, 2004
This is Bob Doughty with the VOA Special English Economics Report.
Recently we told you about the accusations of unequal pay and treatment of female employees at Wal-Mart stores. That case is still early in the legal process, and the company is fighting it. But last week there were settlements in two other sex-discrimination cases.
One involves the aircraft maker Boeing. The other involves the financial services company Morgan Stanley. Settlements avoid a trial.
Morgan Stanley reached a fifty-four-million dollar settlement with a federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The two sides completed negotiations just before a jury in New York City was to hear evidence.
The commission made its case on the experience of a former employee in the Morgan Stanley investment bank. Allison Schieffelin lost her job in two-thousand. She will receive twelve million dollars from the settlement.
Forty million dollars is to go to pay other claims. This money could be divided among as many as three-hundred-forty women. Morgan Stanley also agreed to spend two million dollars for programs to support job development for women.
But Morgan Stanley denied the accusations. The company says it has "at all times treated its women employees fairly and equitably."
Boeing could pay as much as seventy-three million dollars in a settlement approved by a federal judge in Seattle. Lawyers negotiated the deal for as many as twenty-nine-thousand women who are current or former employees.
Boeing avoided a trial in May when it announced an agreement in a class action lawsuit. Details were secret until last week. Final court approval is still needed.
Boeing has denied wrongdoing. But it agreed to change its rules, to make sure women get equal pay and the same chance at higher paying jobs as men. Many women also reported cases of insulting treatment by male workers and supervisors.
Finally, we told you about the legal troubles for Martha Stewart, the businesswoman famous for home design advice. She was found guilty in March of lying about the sale of a personal stock investment. Last week a judge sentenced her to five months in jail. But he suspended that while she appeals.
Share prices in her company increased on the news that she got the shortest possible sentence. Her financial advisor received the same sentence.
This VOA Special English Economics Report was written by Mario Ritter. This is Bob Doughty.