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UBS ordered to pay $30m over sex discrimination

A federal court in New York has ordered UBS to pay $29.3m (€22.7m) in damages to a former equity saleswoman who sued the bank for sex discrimination.

The compensation is thought to be the largest single payment awarded in a sex discrimination case.

Last summer Morgan Stanley agreed to pay almost double that amount to settle a class action, although this was shared by more than 300.

Laura Zubulake, a former director on UBS' Asian stock sales team in New York, and now aged 44, sued the Swiss bank after her boss Matthew Chapin said she was old and ugly. She was released by UBS in 2001 three years after joining, Bloomberg reports.

A UBS spokesman said it was disappointed with the verdict and would review its options before deciding whether to appeal.

While there have been a flood of sex discrimination cases on Wall Street in recent years, the UBS case was one of the few to be decided by a jury. Most are either settled before going to court, dismissed or resolved through private arbitration.

Last summer Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $54m to settle a discrimination lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of fixed income saleswoman Alison Schieffelin and over 300 female colleagues. Morgan Stanley settled before the case went to court.

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