On July 5, 2017, The National Law Review reported that “. . . a federal court in New York gave final approval to a $32.5 million class action settlement alleging racial discrimination against African-American employees of MetLife.”
According to the article, “$32.5 million class action settlement in MetLife race discrimination case,” the plaintiffs of the class action lawsuit:
. . . alleged that MetLife discriminated against African-American Financial Services Representatives by hindering their ability to get lucrative accounts, team up with colleagues, and receive training opportunities.
These types of discriminatory barriers are often associated with glass ceiling discrimination, in which high-level employees are unfairly passed over for promotions because of their race, gender, or other protected characteristic.
The National Law Review also reported that
. . . the class size appears to be about 700 people. In particular, the settlement covers African-American or Black Financial Services Representatives who worked for MetLife or New England Life Insurance Co. between May 15, 2011 and July 1, 2016.
On July 4, 2017, BigClassAction.com published a story, “$32.5M MetLife Race Bias Class Action Settlement Approved,” which reported:
The lawsuit was filed in May 2015 by lead plaintiff Marcus Creighton, who was a MetLife employee in Illinois from 2001 to October 2014. Creighton alleged the company was in violation of federal civil rights law by discriminating against [African-American] brokers. Specifically, the suit alleged that MetLife provided very few opportunities for its African American financial services representatives to work with their non-[African-American] colleagues, that it restricted their training opportunities, and prevented them from getting good accounts.
BigClassAction.com also reported:
According to the lawsuit, MetLife lets its financial services representatives form teams with colleagues and combine their client accounts, but “almost entirely exclude[s]” [African-American] financial services representatives from favorable teaming relationships. The complaint also alleged the company steers the most lucrative business opportunities away from [African-American] brokers and denies them equal access to its “Delivering the Promise” training program. This systematic discrimination leads the company to pay [African-American] financial services representatives less than their non[African-American] peers, the lawsuit alleged.
The settlement fund will pay $75,000 to Creighton and $50,000 to six other workers who joined the case as named plaintiffs in an amended complaint filed in April 2016.
On July 12, 2017, Insurance Business reported (“Judge approves MetLife’s $32.5 million race bias class action settlement”) that:
. . . former employees are expected to receive funds from the settlement, and they will be able to choose between two different payment methods, Bloomberg Law reported. On one hand, they can opt to be paid based on their years in the industry, and their time spent with MetLife or its subsidiary, New England Life Insurance. Alternatively, they can opt for a longer process that considers the supposed discrimination an ex-employee faced personally and how it may have harmed his or her career or reputation.
The class action lawsuit is Creighton, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 15-CV-08321 (S.D.N.Y.).
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