Morgan Stanley banker fired after maternity leave asks to be released from binding arbitration in letter to CEO; inc. company comments

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25 January 2019

Morgan Stanley banker fired after maternity leave writes CEO

Author: Sonali Basak & Max Abelson, Bloomberg

A woman who says she was fired from Morgan Stanley without explanation 22 days after maternity leave wrote an open letter to the bank’s chief asking to be released from binding arbitration, so she can sue the firm. Chau Pham, a former vice president on a foreign-exchange sales team, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, urging it to investigate Morgan Stanley’s treatment of women... Morgan Stanley “is committed to a workplace that is supportive of working mothers” and does not tolerate discrimination, a bank spokesman said. “The firm has policies and procedures in place to underpin that support, and those were followed in this matter.”

... The 24-page complaint alleges that Pham received her first negative performance review after her pregnancy became known, and that managers permanently shifted some of her client accounts to colleagues during her leave. After she returned, her breaks to pump breast milk became a topic of conversation among male coworkers... Pham asked Chief Executive Officer James Gorman to “do the right thing” and let her litigate claims in open court. “You recently said that Morgan Stanley is ‘not where we want to be, but we’re making progress,’” she wrote him. “Forcing female employees to pursue discrimination claims in secrecy is not ‘making progress.’”

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