CHICAGO -- A group of black and Hispanic employees at Moody's Investors Service won the first round of a racial discrimination lawsuit against the rating agency when a U.S. magistrate in New York recommended late last month that the litigation be certified as a class action suit.

The recommendation by Magistrate James C. Francis IV is now in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Whitman Knapp, who must decide whether or not to allow the litigation to proceed as a class action lawsuit.

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