Merrill Lynch Settles Discrimination Suit
The New York Times
01-Jan-2009 (17 comments)

Merrill Lynch agreed to pay $1.55 million and improve employee training to settle a lawsuit that claimed discrimination in the firing of an analyst because he was an Iranian Muslim. The settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday resolved allegations that Merrill had fired Majid Borumand, a quantitative analyst, because of his religion and national origin in August 2005, and retained and promoted a less qualified person. Merrill denied the charges in a lawsuit filed by the agency in federal court in Manhattan in June 2007. A Merrill spokesman declined to comment on the settlement.

Javad Yassari

Iranian awarded $1.55 million

by Javad Yassari on

This man had written his story for the site in 2007.  Read it here:


"It was not until a year or so later that I demanded equal pay and promotion that discrimination and harassment surged. Beyond the time to time greetings of "terrorist", "risk factor" etc there were discriminatory actions that defies imagination. I was physically isolated from rest of my colleagues. While all my colleagues with PhD degrees (those who interviewed me) were sitting on 5th floor of world financial center I was forced to sit in isolation on a different floor next to IT support personnel and this other fellow who was a programmer with a high school degree! As a matter of fact from the three people who were sitting next to me none was a full time employee as me and none had a degree higher than college. Even though I was doing every bit of duty of a quantitative Analyst/Vice president I was isolated physically not to come in contact with my tiers (New era segregation!).

In one occasion one of my colleagues tried to explain to me this odd arrangement. He said: "Majid, you are from a country with a high risk factor. That's why you are not allowed on the trading floor"!



EEOC is a disgrace for civil rights!

by rip off (not verified) on

Shame on them!


EEOC short-changes Mr Borumand.

by Superman (not verified) on

EEOC...OH NO! You don't have a good grasp of Wall Street salaries. Vice Presidents at Mr. Borumand's level earn approximately $500,000 per year, not $250,000 per year. This magnifies the EEOC's lousy settlement, as based on a 10% capitalization rate Mr. Borumand should have received compensatory damages of at least $5 million, which is twice the amount you thought he should have received, and nearly 15 times the approximately $350,000 he did receive as compensatory damages. With friends like the EEOC, who needs enemies?


Too little, Too late!!

by Justice? (not verified) on

Let's put things in perspective:



Reality check...

by fair observer (not verified) on

- Why it took so long (almost 4 years)?
- Why it yielded so LITTLE (non - muslim employees are paid millions each year)?
- Did EEOC envolvment help or Hurt this case???
This is caricature justice!!

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

He probably deserved more, considering how much of the settlement goes to pay legal fees, but it proves he was right.


Marayam Hojjat

by Anonymous456 (not verified) on

"This was a good lesson to other corporate America."

Really? I thought you would be sad after reading this article because it's about an Iranian muslim.



by KouroshS (not verified) on

EEOC ...oh no.

You know how the saying goes, everytime you ASSume something?
Poor guy!!! My heart really goes out to him. NOT!
I Think he should be most grateful, even if this means that his career has terminated, or black-listed by the industry. So what? He is probably done working for someone else anyway and now he will go on making a living, or even making a career by either writing books and making another million or make guest appearances on talkshows. Before you know it, he may even get his own show on one of those cable channels.

Or.. Should we start a petition and eventually Sue EEOC to ensure that he'd get what he is really and truly owed????!!!!


The EEOC short-changed Mr. Borumand

by EEOC...OH NO! (not verified) on

I understand that of the settlement, approximately $450,000 goes for attorney fees; $750,000 goes to back-pay; and $350,000 goes for compensatory damages. For an individual who will probably be black-listed by the financial industry for the rest of his career for blowing the whistle, the EEOC did a disastrous job in reaching a monetary settlement for Mr. Borumand. Assuming that Mr. Borumand's earning power for the rest of his career, without raises, could have been $250,000 per year had he been able to remain employed in the financial industry, and assuming that he could earn 10% on any settlement amount, the very least that the EEOC should have secured for Mr. Borumand as compensatory damages(excluding attorney fees and back-pay) should have been $2,500,000.


I wonder....

by beware (not verified) on

I wonder if Iranian groups who talk about "know your rights" finally look into how EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) handles
discrimination complaints by Iranians in US?

Could someone bother to ask this guy about his experience with EEOC?! As always GO BEHIND THE HEADLINES!

Ali P.

We all know the reason behind it:

by Ali P. on

Another conspiracy!

Let's sign up for a class action lawsuit, demanding compenpastion for all of us, who clicked on the damn link, and got nothing:




by IRANdokht on


or just like Killjoy said click on the title of the news



Censor in The New York Times

by Cyrus_ (not verified) on


I read the full story on, but it does not surprize me that The New York Times has decided to remove it from their wensite. We all know the reason behind it. They Try to minimize the bad publicity and the damage.



by Killjoy (not verified) on

Click on the headline and you'll get the rest of the article!


New York Times

by Cyrus_ (not verified) on

Isn't it amazing that when you click on the news to read the rest of the story on New York Times, it says that the page can not be found. LOL ha ha ha

Maryam Hojjat

Enjoy this money!

by Maryam Hojjat on

This was a good lesson to other corporate America.  


What a great country

by blogger (not verified) on

where the victim can win his case on its merits, is justly compensated and the wrongdoer is punished for its wrong act.

Imagine, if this was a case of an Afghani in Iran, would he be able to bring a claim? Would he be fairly compensated?