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$32.5 Settlement Against Met Life for Race Discrimination

More than 600 African-American financial service representatives participated in a class action lawsuit against MetLife for race discrimination. MetLife was accused of offering them less valuable accounts, less training opportunities, and less opportunities for promotion than their white colleagues. MetLife settled a gender based class action for female sales representatives in 2000 for approximately $10 million. Another lawsuit (for $50 million) is currently pending against the company for overtime compensation based on misclassification.

A two-tiered system was set up for payment of the $32.5 million settlement funds. Class members may choose between two options for receiving their pay out. The first option would be based on an objective formula such as the amount of time worked for MetLife. The second option will be referred to as the Individual Claims Resolution Process. With this process, the class member may present their claim to a neutral evaluator during a 75-minute hearing. Based on what is presented, the evaluator will determine the exact amount of that member’s award. If the class member makes a particularly compelling presentation, he or she may earn more of the award than might have been given under the objective formula.