Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based litigation law firm specializing in employee rights, comments on recent news of Citibank’s former employee allegedly fired because she was too hot and sexy for her job.
Debrahlee Lorenzana, 33 formerly employed by Citibank filed a lawsuit claiming her termination was due to her distracting good looks and curvy figure.
If you are not familiar with the case already, Deborahlee Lorenzana’s lawsuit against Citibank alleges sexual harassment claims and reveals how “she was ordered to tone down her wardrobe, including form fitting clothes like turtlenecks, pencil skirts and fitted suits. She was told her clothing was ‘too distracting’ for her male colleagues and supervisors to handle.”
Lorenzana claims that she dressed on par with other Citibank employees, including the level of “sexiness.” In a CBS article she states, “What they said to me is (other women’s) body types and my body type were different and because of my body type I drew too much attention.”
Shegerian notes, “Essentially what Citibank has done is retaliate against and subsequently wrongfully terminate Ms. Lorenzana. For Citibank to take these actions when she has clearly adhered to a professional dress code is considered harassment, both of a sexual and gender-based nature.”
Lorenzana, now a personal banker at a Chase branch in Brooklyn, told the Post that her boss at Chase had threatened her with disciplinary action if she continued talking to the media about her lawsuit. Shegerian states, “If she gets terminated from JPMorgan Chase it would be grounds for another lawsuit if this occurred in California. In California, it is illegal to threaten an employee for speaking up against unlawful employment practices. The law here likewise prohibits retaliation for asserting your rights in this area.”
Shegerian encourages others in Lorenzana’s shoes to step out and speak about their workplace horrors, namely sexual harassment issues. Sadly, though done in a more “creative” and elusive manner, sexual harassment is a crime that still runs rampant in the workplace fortunately in California there are many laws protecting employees.
An experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, always representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations.
Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. He remains undefeated in federal jury trials and has won 14 seven figure verdicts representing employees.
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