The Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch were accused of discriminating against women in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by three female financial advisers at the companies. The suit, filed in United States District Court in Brooklyn, accused Bank of America and Merrill Lynch of giving male counterparts of the three employees bigger bonuses and better opportunities. The women also said that the companies sought to punish them when they complained about perceived inequalities. One claimed that after she protested, she was verbally reprimanded and ordered to seek preapproval when filing expense reports for business lunches, something men never had to do.
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The suit seeks back pay and unspecified damages. It also asks the court for class-action status.
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Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in December 2008, making it the largest financial company in the nation.