Wigdor LLP represents finance executive Chau Pham in connection with her claims of discrimination based on gender, pregnancy and her need to pump breast milk during work hours against Morgan Stanley, a global investment bank with offices in more than 41 countries and over 55,000 employees.
In a complaint filed with the EEOC on January 16, 2019, Ms. Pham alleges that she was terminated without explanation just 22 days after returning from maternity leave and following months of experiencing discriminatory treatment at work after Morgan Stanley became aware of her pregnancy.
According to the EEOC charge, Ms. Pham’s experience of discrimination at Morgan Stanley is not unique; at the precise time when female employees hit their biological prime for childbearing, management at Morgan Stanley begins to make meaningful decisions about those employees’ opportunities for advancement. As alleged, women who become pregnant while working at Morgan Stanley get knocked off their compensation trajectories through adverse employment decisions regarding promotions and compensation. For example, as alleged, after Ms. Pham’s pregnancy was revealed, she was suddenly taken off of high-value accounts, excluded from client meetings and given her first negative performance review.
When Ms. Pham returned from maternity leave and made it known that she would need to pump breast milk during work hours, she was told that more of her accounts would be permanently reassigned to others, that she would not be receiving any new accounts and discovered that her sales figures had been manipulated to show negative production, according to the EEOC charge. To make matters worse, Ms. Pham’s need to pump breast milk became the topic of inappropriate workplace chatter among male superiors and co-workers; indeed, she was asked multiple times by a male supervisor, “What’s wrong with formula?” and “Are you sure you want to keep doing this [pumping]?”
In an Open Letter to Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and CEO James P. Gorman, Ms. Pham has asked that she be released from the mandatory arbitration provision she is allegedly bound by so that she may pursue her claims of discrimination in court. As Ms. Chau has stated, “[t]aking away a woman’s right to a trial by a jury of her peers and providing perpetrators of discrimination with the comfort of secrecy only serves to facilitate bias and the continued marginalization of women on Wall Street.”
Statement from Jeanne M. Christensen and Tanvir H. Rahman:
“Our client, a former Vice President at Morgan Stanley, wrote to James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, asking that he release her from mandatory arbitration to pursue claims in open court on behalf of a proposed Class of female employees. Because this is not the first time these same claims have been filed against Morgan Stanley, including by the EEOC, we expect answers about why, as alleged, Morgan Stanley has failed to remedy systemic bias against female employees.”
Open Letter to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman