Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is an American multinational financial services corporation with headquarters in New York. In 1996, twenty-five of its female employees filed a lawsuit against the company citing allegations such as “intimidation, retaliation, and humiliation,” as well as lack of fairness in pay, denial of promotion, demotion due to maternity leave, unfairness in the distribution of accounts, sexual harassment, and discharge without cause.
In 1998, the Court approved the settlement in favor of the employees. As part of the settlement, the company was required to pay for a research study conducted by a non-profit research organization to study the issues that have caused the underlying lawsuit. The research project was awarded to a global non-profit organization called Catalyst.