Black Ex-Merrill Reps Dismiss Discrimination Suit

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The two former Merrill Lynch brokers who sued the wirehouse last year have voluntarily dismissed the complaint.
The reason for the dismissal was not cited in court documents.

The two former Merrill Lynch brokers who sued the wirehouse July 2, 2021 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging African Americans employed at the firm as financial advisors received less compensation and were promoted to senior roles less often than their white counterparts, have voluntarily dismissed the complaint, according to court documents.

Lucinda Council and Ravynne Gilmore, who identified themselves as African American women, also alleged that Black financial advisors working for the firm were terminated more often than white advisors.

The complaint alleged the firm engaged in ”discriminatory policies, patterns, and/or practices, including … minimum threshold production credit requirements, lack of support, and inequitable teaming opportunities.”

Last week, however, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed for voluntary dismissal of all claims without prejudice, according to court documents. That means the plaintiffs can potentially refile the suit as long as it’s done within the statute of limitations. There was no mention of a settlement being reached in the dismissal filing. Judge Terrence G. Berg granted the motion for dismissal on Tuesday.

Merrill parent Bank of America declined to comment Thursday. Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Council was dually registered as a broker and advisor at Merrill in Paramus, New Jersey, from about March 2018 to September 2019, according to the complaint and her report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. She is now registered with Prudential.

Gilmore was registered as a broker with Merrill from about October 2017 to January 2020 in Troy, Michigan and Warren, Michigan. She is no longer registered as a broker or advisor.