By Dow Jones Business News,
February 04, 2014, 12:32:00 PM EDT
By Saabira Chaudhuri
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.45 million to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit that says the bank
maintained a "sexually hostile work environment" towards its female mortgage bankers.
The lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, says female mortgage bankers assigned to
the bank's Polaris Park facility--located outside Columbus, Ohio--faced "sexually charged behavior and comments from the
supervisory staff and participating mortgage bankers, which resulted in a sexist and uncivil atmosphere."
The lawsuit also alleged that the female mortgage bankers who "didn't embrace and participate in these
circumstances became ostracized and suffered economic consequences by being deprived of lucrative sales calls, being
deprived of training opportunities, and being denied other benefits of employment."
J.P. Morgan didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
As part of the settlement, the nation's largest bank by assets has agreed to develop a call data retention system
so that assignments of sales calls can be accessed and analyzed to make sure they are more equally distributed among its
The EEOC said it filed the lawsuit in the U.S. district court for the Southern District of Ohio after first
attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"The EEOC is committed to combating unlawful sex discrimination in the workplace and will hold an employer
responsible for fostering an inhospitable and uncomfortable atmosphere for women," EEOC Philadelphia District Director
Spencer H. Lewis Jr. said in prepared remarks.
The settlement amount will be shared among 16 female mortgage bankers who worked at J.P. Morgan's call center in
its Polaris Park facility.
J.P. Morgan's settlement comes after Bank of America Corp. in September agreed to pay $39 million to settle a
discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of female financial advisers and licensed trainees at Merrill Lynch.
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at email@example.com
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