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Citibank Employee Says She was Fired for Being Too Hot

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by copythat

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Happened: 
In The News

Former New York Citigroup banker, Debrahlee Lorenzana, says she was fired because she was 'too hot' and refused to remain quiet about the discrimination against her.
 
Lorenzana says she won't tolerate discrimination, even if it means suing the ones who employed her after she was thrown out of Citigroup--now that means potentially suing JP Morgan Chase. "I'm going to speak up," she's said to the media, "Enough is enough."
 
Lorenzana's lawyer, Jack Turner said that they would sue JP Morgan Chase - Lorenzana's new employer, if they fired her.
 
The problems began at her new job as a personal banker at a Chase branch in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, when media stories about her lawsuit against Citibank began to appear in the newspapers. Lorenzana claims a "hush order" followed, from JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. "I said, 'I'm going to speak to the media -- this has nothing to do with you [JP Morgan Chase].'"
 
"I was under so much stress, [my boss] said it wasn't up to her and that the only thing I can tell you is pray," she said, in response to whether she would be fired from her new job with Chase.
 
Lorenzana's leave was for Monday was additionally canceled by the company, coincidentally, the same day she was scheduled for an interview with CBS News. She proceeded, and appeared on CBS anyway.
 
In her lawsuit against Citibank, Lorenzana says she pointed out to her bosses "that other female colleagues wore similar professional attire"--and also that some dressed far more provocatively. She says supervisors at Citibank had retorted that those women didn't have to worry about "turning them on" because "their general unattractiveness rendered moot their sartorial choices, unlike plaintiff," per Court documents. "'Oh, your pants are too tight. You cannot wear turtlenecks. ... because you draw too much attention,'" Lorenzana said her bosses at Citibank repeatedly told her. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing."
 
Lorenzana's lawsuit with the previous employer was dismissed last month--on grounds of an Arbitration clause with Citigroup.

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It's hard to know what to

June 14, 2010 by wanderlust, 8 years 44 weeks ago

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It's hard to know what to make of this woman's claim. On one hand, I want to be outraged for her (and surely am if it's true). I believe these things DO go on in business -- some industries are worse than others, and I can imagine banking to be one of them. If it's true, I applaud her for going public. Her future employability will certainly suffer - as she's already seeing with Chase - and it's a big risk to her personal and professional reputation. But if it's false, she is undermining the voices of so many who suffer legitimate discrimination. If this plays out in court, I dearly hope she can bring substantiating evidence (which is often so difficult in these types of "behind closed doors" discrimination), and I hope she nails them to the wall.