Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson did it before she sued Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. And now a Los Angeles-based television news anchor has done the same, gathering secret recordings of the supervisor she ultimately sued.
Karla Amezola, an award-winning anchor at the Spanish-language network Estrella TV, sued Estrella parent Liberman Broadcasting and her supervisor, Andres Angulo, in June. Her case, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, has gone largely unnoticed for months.
I spoke with Amezola’s lawyers for my column published at TheStreet.com today, and asked if Amezola had recorded the defendant. They told me she had, but declined to allow me to listen to the recordings. Sexual harassment cases have always been tough ones for plaintiffs to win, but the trend towards secret taping may finally reverse that. You can read today’s column here.
In a matter of weeks, two senior executives at global businesses lost their jobs related to alleged sexual harassment or clueless talk about gender.
CEO Roger Ailes is out at Fox News. Chairman Kevin Roberts is out at Saatchi & Saatchi.
On the surface, it almost looks like we’ve made some progress on the sex discrimination front. Dig a little deeper, though, and it looks like more of the same: a flurry of public attention that ultimately will peter out.
I explained why neither case is a game-changer for women at work in my column today for TheStreet.com.
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) said I’ve won its Northeast Region Award of Excellence in the Original Web Commentary category for my columns at TheStreet. I’m also a finalist in ASBPE’s national contest.
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists said today that my columns for TheStreet took second place in its annual awards competition in the online category.
From the judges: “Susan Antilla turns a spotlight on some lesser known yet vital issues in the financial sector, where there is plenty of room for skepticism and suspicion. Her spritely explanations present a common sense view of the complicated inner workings of this industry. As consumers are increasingly left to equip themselves with information to protect their financial well-being, writers like Antilla are providing a true service.”
The National Federation of Press Women said I’ve won its Communications Contest in the business journalism category for my stories about problems with customer account security at The Vanguard Group. You can read my stories here and here.
The brokerage industry works hard to keep customer complaints out of public view, with aggressive firms fighting to remove grievances that sully their brokers’ records. The interminable campaign to sanitize the dossier of former Royal Alliance Associates broker Kathleen J. Tarr is a disheartening case in point. You can read the story here.
Holly Marchak and her husband lost $2.3 million when they were defrauded in the Ponzi scheme of the so-called “Brooklyn Madoff.” Nine years later, she’s still paying for it.
She spends thousands of dollars a year on prescription drugs alone. Marchak, who lives in Orlando, Fla., began weeping as she told me the story of Philip Barry, now in federal prison, who defrauded her and her husband Alex Marchak. The money had been proceeds from the sale of a building that housed a funeral home the couple owned.
Marchak, 62, says she takes medication for anxiety, high blood pressure, asthma and heart problems. “There are times we don’t want to wake up in the morning,” she said. “My doctor has a mile-long, thick file on me and says it’s all stress-related.”
Lawyers who represent investors say the stress of a serious financial loss can trigger a whole new wave of costs for clients. Medical research has linked stress to viral infections, asthma
, atherosclerosis, ulcers
and increased risk for diabetes
mellitus, among other
diseases. More focused studies highlight the hazards of financial stress. You can read the full story here.
Everybody loves a half-price sale, and if you’re a recruiter on Wall Street, there’s always a markdown on female employees.
Women in finance last year earned 52 cents for every dollar that men made in a job category the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “securities, commodities and financial services sales agents.” That’s about as bad as it gets for women workers. It was the biggest pay gap among 119 occupations evaluated in a recent report
by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, D.C.
But the revealing lawsuits that used to challenge this outrageous pay gap and economically hostile work environment to women are few and far between today – and that’s how Wall Street wants it. The country’s biggest banks have made it harder than ever for women with complaints of unequal pay or treatment to make their cases in a public forum.
It was 20 years ago last month when three women in the Garden City, New York branch of Smith Barney triggered an industry-wide migraine, filing a class-action lawsuit
that exposed egregious sexual harassment and unequal pay. It was dubbed the “boom-boom room” suit, the namesake of a party room in the branch’s basement. Click here
for the rest of the story.
Finra’s arbitrator pool has included everyone from a disgraced judge to a person who posed as a lawyer. The latest: a brokerage executive who was just fined and suspended. You can read about it here.
Twenty-three women sued Smith Barney for sexual harassment and pay discrimination in an explosive class-action lawsuit filed 20 years ago this month. It became known as the “boom-boom room” suit, named after a basement party room at Smith Barney’s branch office in Garden City, N.Y. Nearly 2,000 women joined the case, exposing the sordid antics of Wall Street’s testosterone-driven culture.
Smith Barney paid $150 million in arbitration awards and settlements in the case, and it and other Wall Street firms rushed to set up anti-harassment training, employee hotlines and programs to recruit women.
Twenty years later, permanent change is less obvious.
“You may no longer have strippers coming for afternoon entertainment, but that doesn’t mean you are treated as an equal,” said Anne C. Vladeck of the New York employment law firm Vladeck, Raskin & Clark. “It’s not quite as blatant as what went on in the boom-boom room, but it’s still there in a way that makes it very hard for women to succeed. Companies on Wall Street are just not changing.”
You can read the full story I wrote for The New York Times here.
The New York Press Club said today that I have won its 2016 award for consumer reporting on the Internet for my stories about cybersecurity problems at The Vanguard Group.
In August, eight investors were awarded $1.28 million in an arbitration against FSC Securities. But the firm hasn’t paid up and is mounting an aggressive defense. You can read about it in my latest column for TheStreet.com here.
The Society of the Silurians said today that I have won the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award for Commentary and Editorials for my columns for TheStreet.com. From the judges:
“Watch what Wall Street does, not what it says,” Antilla enjoins her readers and, heeding her own counsel, she does just that in a string of columns, built on solid reporting and trenchant analysis, that expose the duplicitous practices unscrupulous stockbrokers employ to intentionally mislead and, ultimately, fleece their clients.
Twenty investors await a Finra arbitration hearing in September against two clearing firms that handled their trades in a penny-stock fraud. Did COR Clearing and Wilson-Davis ignore obvious red flags? You can read about it in my column today for TheStreet.com.
The New York State Society of CPAs said today that I have won the 2016 Excellence in Financial Journalism Award for my columns for TheStreet.com.
From the judges:
Susan Antilla used her solid reporting and analytical skills in “Wall Street Has a Unique Way of ‘Protecting’ Small Investors,” as she exposed Wall Street for its efforts to avoid change that could possibly improve access to stockbroker records. Throughout her research, she also called out the securities industry for its empty arguments that tougher regulations would force brokers to drop smaller investors as customers.
The Connecticut Press Club said today that I have won first place in the “Specialty Articles — Business” category in its 2016 Communications Contest for my stories about cybersecurity weaknesses at the mutual fund company The Vanguard Group.
You can read the stories, published on TheStreet.com, here and here.
I’m honored to have won the “Best in Business” award in the Digital Commentary category from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) for my columns for TheStreet.com in 2015.
From the judges:
Susan Antilla’s columns on underhanded Wall Street practices were a reality check about the institutional forces working against the interests of small investors at a time when more and more “regular” people navigate their own retirement planning. In another column, she explained how gains in workplace gender equity can be illusory, and how a double standard in the behavior of men and women remains.
You can see the terrific work of SABEW winners in the other categories here.
TheStreet.com submitted four of my columns from 2015 to SABEW:
Wall Street Has a Unique Way of Protecting Small Investors
Wall Street makes it hard to dig up dirt on your broker or brokerage firm
Ellen Pao’s case against Kleiner Perkins has Porn Star Talk, High Stakes for Women
Like Anita Hill vs Clarence Thomas, Ellen Pao Lost Kleiner Perkins Gender Fight but Women Gained