Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH) announced that the federal court in New York has given preliminary approval to the settlement of a class action suit filed against the company in 2001 that raised issues of gender discrimination in compensation and promotion during the period Oct. 31, 1998 through Dec. 31, 2001 on behalf of employees of Willis of New York, Willis of New Jersey and Willis of Massachusetts. The Company has denied and continues to deny any discrimination.
The settlement was reached in June 2007 and was reflected in the 2nd quarter financials. The proposed consent decree, if approved, will create a fund of approximately $8.5 million that will be distributed to certain current and former female employees of those offices.
“Willis is an employer which values diversity,” Susan Sztuka, global group director of Human Resources. “We reward and respect each and every Associate equally. It’s important to note that the alleged claims of this lawsuit date back to 1998-2001 and we are pleased to have it settled.” Sztuka continued, “As part of our Employer of Choice initiative, Willis does all it can to nurture a diverse workplace and further our commitment to being a supportive, equal-opportunity business.”
Source: Willis Group Holdings Limited, www.willis.com