An ex-banker for Citibank claims she was fired for being too sexy.
At 5 foot 6 and 125 pounds, with a well defined figure, Debrahlee Lorenzana is a beautiful woman, reports the Village Voice. Beauty may have initially worked in her favour, scoring the stunning Puerto Rican/Italian a $70,000 a year banker's position with Citibank during the recession. (Lorenzana says a colleague told her the Citibank branch in New York City she worked at was "pretty much known for hiring pretty girls.")
An ex-banker for Citibank claims she was fired for being too sexy. Debrahlee Lorenzana is suing her former employers for wrongful dismissal.
The Day in Photos
Oil boom barriers that are expected to stop the spread of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster, lies washed up on the beach after heavy swells and winds hit the coast of Louisiana on April 30, 2010. A giant oil slick threatened economic and environmental devastation as it closed in on Louisiana's vulnerable coast, prompting the US government to declare a national disaster. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and called for urgent help to prevent fragile wetlands and vital fishing communities along the coast from pollution on a massive scale. The wind started to strengthen and blow the 600-square-mile (1,550-square-kilometer) slick directly onto the coast, where a rich variety of wildlife were at risk in the maze of marshes that amounts to 40 percent of the US wetlands.
Dr. Erica Miller, left, and Danene Birtell with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research work to help a Northern Gannet bird, normally white when full grown, which is covered in oil from a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a facility in Fort Jackson, La., Friday, April 30, 2010.
Members of the media photograph and film a car that crashed close to location of the launch of an election poster campaign, by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in Birmingham, central England on April 30, 2010. Brown and other senior members of his cabinet were in Birmingham for the launch of their party's final election campaign poster, prior to the May 6 general election.
Fisheries biologist Lyndsey Howell, right, and Shelley Harkness dig a grave in the sand for a dead Kemp's ridley turtle, foreground, Monday, April 26, 2010 in Bolivar Peninsula, Texas. The orange spray paint was put on the shell to identify the turtle. The number of strandings on these shores is double what scientists and volunteers normally see as the turtles begin nesting in April, says Howell, who patrols the beaches as part of her job with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Oil booms that were placed in preparation of the looming oil spill from last week's collapse and spill of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig are seen strewn along the shoreline from choppy seas in Port Eads, Thursday, April 29, 2010.
This April 28, 2010 image made from video released by the Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command, shows an in situ burn in the Gulf of Mexico, in response to the oil spill after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
Residents of Ottawa's Fallingbrook neighbourhood were unsettled to discover a series of break-ins involving women's undergarments have now been linked to Col. Russell Williams, left, the former air force base commander accused of killing two women. Courtney Cochrane, 29, right, says it's scary that the same person charged in a break-in at her parents house is also charged with two counts of murder.
But the once-positive comments soon turned into harassment, Lorenzana says.
After two months on the job things started going downhill, states the sexual harassment lawsuit Lorenzana launched against Citibank.
Around that time, the business banker's bosses informed her the way she dressed was too distracting for the workplace. She was banned from wearing turtle necks, pencil skirts, three-inch heels or fitted suits. Lorenzana pointed out to her managers that tellers at the bank frequently wore mini skirts and dresses more revealing than her outfits -- their response: "They said their body shapes were different from mine, and I drew too much attention," she told the Village Voice.
The 33-year-old single mom was furious. "Are you saying that just because I look this way genetically, that this should be a curse for me?"
Lorenzana admits she likes buying nice clothes, but says she does the majority of her shopping "where everyone else shops -- at Zara!" and couldn't afford to buy a completely new set of dowdier attire to satisfy the branch's top brass.
Her problems did not stop there, according to her lawsuit. Bankers need to complete training courses for tasks like filling in a loan application or opening a chequing account. In her lawsuit, Lorenzana says that despite frequently requesting these courses from her managers she was never given the training, forcing her to handover clients to other colleagues. Eventually her bosses told her to focus on bringing in new clients to the bank, which she said she did, but they were all passed onto her male colleagues.
Lorenzana soon received a letter stating she was on six months probation because she was behind on sales targets.
According to her lawsuit, Lorenzana contacted human resources to complain about her situation. She says she phoned HR representatives three or four times a day before an email she sent eventually elicited a response and a representative visited the branch. But after the visit, things only got worse.
Frustration came to a peak for Lorenzana when she and a male colleague were instructed to move some heavy files. Both the colleague and Lorenzana wore flip-flops for the day of lifting, but Lorenzana's suit alleges she was told by managers to remove hers and wear high heels while carting around the heavy boxes.
An angry email to a senior manager eventually got Lorenzana transferred to a different Citibank branch, but not as a business banker, she was now a telemarketer. Lorenzana began to complain about her demotion and after six months was called into her manager's office and fired. Lorenzana claims the manager brought up the wardrobe dispute at the other branch during her dismissal, but never her work ethic. In the end she says she was told she had to leave because she didn't fit into the culture at Citibank.
Because Lorenzana signed a mandatory-arbitration clause when she was employed, her case will be determined by an arbitrator.
Citibank has issued a statement on the lawsuit via Citi Public Affairs coordinator Natalie Riper, saying: "Ms. Lorenzana has chosen to make numerous unfounded accusations and inaccurate statements against Citibank and several of our employees. While we will not discuss the details of her case, we can say that her termination was solely performance-based and not at all related to her appearance or attire. We are confident that when all of the facts and documentation are presented, the claim will be dismissed."
Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html