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Citi Manager Alleges “Pervasive” Sexual Harassment in New Lawsuit

Citi Manager Alleges “Pervasive” Sexual Harassment in New Lawsuit

How do your employees feel about your companies workplace culture?

According to an April 22, 2024 Reuters report, a New York City based bank manager for Citi has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. Among the details of the lawsuit, the manager claims she was forcibly kissed on the mouth by a senior manager shortly after joining the organization, and was “subjected to a culture of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.” Adding further injury were a series of alleged voice and text messages left by the manager’s supervisor, which threatened her for speaking up about the alleged harassment and claimed “I’m going to set you on fire,” and “[k]ids or no kids I don’t give a [expletive] I’m going to burn it all down.”

Complaint Alleges Extreme Cultural Issues at Citi

The manager claims that these incidents were part of the Citi culture, and that such behavior was pervasive company-wide. In addition to the alleged sexual harassment and threats in response to complaints, the lawsuit also alleges additional abusive conduct (often fueled by alcohol and/or drug use that often occurred at and away from the workplace). Worse yet, when these issues were brought to the attention of senior management, the lawsuit alleges “the bank chose to overlook numerous red flags about [misconduct].” Instead of taking action on behalf of the complaining party, the supervisor who allegedly committed many of the acts was promoted, and the suit alleges many other female members of the staff were left unprotected when he was allowed to continue working for the organization.

In addition to the allegations directed at the supervisor, the filing also states that male bankers would “visit strip clubs, drink excessively, make sexualized comments about female colleagues, or use cocaine in the office.” Lastly, several senior executives were accused of harassing behavior and/or sexual involvement with junior employees. In response to the allegations, Senior managers were quoted as stating the manager was simply trying to “cause trouble.” The manager claims she has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and other physical and mental injuries.

Organizations Need to Evaluate their Tolerance for Toxic Behavior in the Workplace

Whether the allegations in the lawsuit prove true, the stories of rampant alcohol and drug use (as well as sexual harassment) are all too common in corporate America. Given the significant risks to the mental and physical well-being of employees throughout the country, it is more important than ever to not just take inventory of bad acts within the workplace, but also constantly monitor the culture on an organization-wide basis. This means employers must take an interest in the culture developing within the organization, and determine whether it matches the values and ethos the company would like to see projected externally.

Should the facts in the lawsuit against Citi prove true, not only will there be significant financial implications, but also a high level of negative press and publicity both within the organization and in the general public. Perhaps of even greater significance, if nothing is done to change the culture, those within the organization will begin to accept bad behavior as tolerated by the organization and either leave or succumb to harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

Syntrio Recommends a Program of Education to Match Your Values with Your Culture

Syntrio has spent the better part of the last thirty years perfecting its organizational culture messaging, and intertwining that message in its harassment, discrimination, inclusion, and other educational platforms. While simply providing a “training course” will do little to prove you care about your workforce and its well-being, offering opportunity for professional enrichment that demonstrates caring, empathy, and a passion for the success of the workforce will not only prevent incidents from occurring, but show the organization’s intolerance for workplace toxicity.

Contact a member of our staff today to learn more about how Syntrio can partner with you on these important topics.

We invite you to speak with a member of our staff today to see how Syntrio’s products are different from its competitors, and discover why our customers trust Syntrio to deliver the message that there is no tolerance for harassment and discrimination in our customers’ workplaces.  The organizations we work with provide training for the mental and physical health benefit of their employees, and not simply because they are required to do so. We look forward to partnering with your organization on the creation of a platform of education utilizing our industry-leading products that will help prevent ugly incidents like the one discussed in the paragraphs above.

Since 2007, Jonathan has practiced labor and employment law on behalf of management. Jonathan focuses his practice on advising employers on the prevention of harassment and discrimination issues, with an emphasis on providing in-person harassment training programs to companies of all sizes. Jonathan is licensed in California, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and maintains a national advice practice.

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