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UPDATE 1-Ex-Morgan Stanley diversity officer sues bank, cites racial bias -court filing

  • June 16, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former Morgan Stanley diversity officer sued the bank on Tuesday, alleging racial discrimination, retaliation against her and violation of equal pay laws, according to a court filing.

The plaintiff, Marilyn Booker, was a managing director at the bank for 26 years until she was fired in December, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Booker said the bank eliminated her position after senior executives ignored her proposal to address systemic racial bias against black financial advisors and trainees.

Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit claims the bank violated the Civil Rights Act and New York state human rights laws, as well as federal and state equal pay laws for Booker and other black female employees at Morgan Stanley.

Hired in 1994, Booker worked for the firm as a diversity officer and later head of diversity, as well as head of the urban markets group, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Clients she recruited and worked with at the firm included Brooklyn Community Services, described in the lawsuit as an “eight-figure pension fund.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang

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