Biggest ever discrimination case gets underway

The
biggest ever UK discrimination case has begun in Croydon as ex-Merrill Lynch
employee Stephanie Villalba pursues a £7.5m payout for gender discrimination,
unfair dismissal and unequal pay at the investment bank.

Villalba’s
lawyer told the hearing that she was bullied and belittled by her boss – who
once compared her to his maid – when she told him about her heavy workload.

On
one business trip, he told her to serve the men drinks until there was none left
for her, according to Villalba’s lawyer, Dinah Rose.

“It
might seem like a petty humiliation, but it reveals his lack of respect for
her,” Rose said.

Lawyers
for Merrill Lynch said she lost her job due to record losses in the Europe region
‘for which she was responsible’.

The
bank said Villalba’s claims were ‘a travesty of the truth’.

By Michael Millar

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