A New York City woman has sued Citigroup for firing her because she was just too good-looking, reports the Village Voice.
Debrahlee Lorenzana, a 33-year-old single mother, worked in a midtown Citigroup branch and apparently irked her coworkers with her style of dress. "As a result of the shape of her figure," the Voice quotes her lawsuit, "such clothes were purportedly 'too distracting' for her male colleagues and supervisors to bear."
Lorenzana's lawsuit, filed in December of 2009, is one of a recent spate of sexually charged cases against major banks. Earlier this year, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs both faced lawsuits from working mothers who claimed they were "mommy-tracked" and essentially demoted after they got pregnant.
Forbes also chronicled the plight of several female Citigroup employees, who claim that their gender played a role in their being let go from the bank during the financial crisis. The Citi lawsuits, Forbes suggested, are part of a growing number of discrimination claims being brought against employers by women on Wall Street. Female employment in finance, Forbes notes, is falling faster than male employment: "In the two years since December 2006, when employment in the sector hit a peak for the past decade, female employment has fallen 4.7% to 3.8 million, while male employment has dropped 3.2% to 2.1 million, according to the government's Current Employment Statistics survey."
Lorenzana's case, if it is to believed, focuses specifically on her style of dress and appearance, a subject she says she discussed at length with Citigroup HR before being dismissed. Here's more from the Voice:
...the managers gave her a list of clothing items she would not be allowed to wear: turtlenecks, pencil skirts, and fitted suits. And three-inch heels. "As a result of her tall stature, coupled with her curvaceous figure," her suit says, Lorenzana was told "she should not wear classic high-heeled business shoes, as this purportedly drew attention to her body in a manner that was upsetting to her easily distracted male managers."
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Lorenzana recalls. "I said, 'You gotta be kidding me!' I was like, 'Too distracting? For who? For you? My clients don't seem to have any problem.'"
Read the full story at The Village Voice here.
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