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Another repeat of sexism and the city?

Merrill Lynch, already defending a £7.5 million action, is now facing new discrimination claims.

The investment bank defending a £75 million sex discrimination claim is facing fresh allegations over the conduct of senior male executives.

The Times has learnt that a second woman is suing Merrell Lynch for sex discrimination, victimisation and constructive dismissal. Elizabeth Weston, a 29 year old solicitor will claim that a senior lawyer at the firm made lewd comments to her at a Christmas lunch.

The American firm is already fighting a multimillion-pound sex discrimination claim brought by another female executive, Stephanie Villalba. She is seeking record damages for sex discrimination, victimisation, unfair dismissal and unequal pay. If she is successful the payout would be the biggest given by a tribunal for sex discrimination. Merrill Lynch denies her claims.

The case will highlight concerns that sexism is on the rise again in the Square Mile. Mrs Weston is the latest in a string of aggrieved women who claim to have fallen victim to the City’s macho culture….


“The Times”: 18 June 2004