A breaking New York sexual harassment news story has galvanized a veritable orgy of Internet traffic and provided ample fodder for late night talk show hosts. As the Village Voice reported last week, Debbie Lorenzana, a 33-year-old single mom, has filed a sexual harassment suit against her ex-employer, Citigroup, for subjecting her to a hostile work environment.
Lorenzana worked in a Manhattan Citibank branch as a business banker. Her mangers disapproved of her clothing. In particular, she was told that her outfits – which included fitted suits and turtlenecks – were “too distracting” for her male coworkers and managers. Lorenzana found these accusations outrageous, considering that, in her words: “I am sorry, my pants are not too tight! And if you want to talk about inappropriate clothes, go downstairs and look at some of the tellers…who would wear their pants so tight, it was like they had a permanent wedgie.”
Lorenzana transferred out of the Manhattan branch to a different office in summer of 2009, after complaining to HR, but she was fired shortly afterwards, allegedly for “poor job performance.”
Lorenzana’s tale of alleged sexual harassment has obviously touched a nerve with the public. Many observers have expressed outrage that a bank like Citibank – which has been fingered as a key accidental architect of the 2008 financial meltdown – would so viciously attack this woman and maintain that “[her] lawsuit is without merit.” Of course, without access to all evidence, it’s impossible to weigh in on any sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation case.
To that end, if you or any of your coworkers has been subjected to sexual harassment, discrimination, or vicious treatment at work, you should actively defend your rights. The attorneys here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum would be happy to discuss your workplace problems with you. We can provide a free consultation to you. Just contact us through our website, www.jhllp.com, or call us at (212) 688-5640.