Employees File Claim Against HSBC for Retaliation
According to the Financial Times, two employees of the securities firm HSBC have sued their employer for retaliation, claiming they were punished after reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. The employees brought two separate suits in the southern district court of New York in June and August.
The employees allege that they reported that a colleague experienced sexual harassment from several executives over a period of two years (2010-2012). As a result of their allegations, their employer retaliated against them by limited their responsibilities and lowering their compensation. One employee claims he was excluded from important meetings and relegated to clerical tasks. The other said he was required to report to a junior colleague and saw his wages significantly reduced from $400,000 to $125,000, or nearly 60 percent. Both employees claim that these actions were taken by HSBC as a direct result of their claims in order to hide and facilitate a culture of gender discrimination in its workplace.
HSBC fired back at the claims that it was covering up a larger cultural problem of discrimination, stating it thoroughly investigated the reports and even removed a senior executive from her position based on the allegations. It did not defend against the retaliation claims directly, however, but simply argued in one case that too much time had elapsed since the alleged retaliation in order to file a claim. It has not yet responded to the suit filed in August. In related news, the female employee who was allegedly harassed, known only as Jane Doe, also filed a suit against the company, which was settled in 2013.
It is illegal for an employer to sexually harass workers or foster an environment of sexual harassment. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact the skilled New York employment law attorneys at Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC to discuss your legal options.