Brokers who claim Merrill Lynch steered them into less lucrative practices now have formal clearance to combine their interests in a class action suit.
Roughly 700 African-American reps who worked at Merrill have signed onto the suit over the last six years, arguing that the firm pushed them away from top accounts and into support positions.
However, Merrill has fought back with claims that it's a "progressive" company that didn't want to foster any sort of racist environment.
The lastest round goes to the brokers. Circuit Court judge Richard Posner says he "has trouble seeing the downside" in allowing a class action suit to proceed.
As he points out, what Merrill wanted is irrelevant. If it used race as a factor in human resources decisions, it rings the discrimination warning bells.