Bank executive files whistle-blower discrimination complaint

Many Wisconsin residents use Bank of America for their various banking needs. On May 16, a female executive with BoA filed a 41-page complaint against the company in Manhattan federal court. In addition to gender discrimination allegations, the 42-year-old executive accused the nation’s largest bank of engaging in illegal trading practices and violating whistle-blower protection laws.

In February 2015, the plaintiff in the whistleblower claim was appointed to her position as managing director and co-head of the bank’s structured credit products branch. During her employment, she made several complaints about illegal trading practices that she witnessed. One of these illegal trading incidents allegedly occurred in March 2016 and involved Citibank’s collateralized loan obligations.

Before she was forced to take leave in April 2016, the plaintiff also complained about how the bank was handling a bidding process that was supposed to be impartial. The plaintiff also made complaints about gender discrimination in the workplace that included unequal pay. According to the plaintiff, she found out that she and other female employees were being paid less than male employees for doing the same work. In 2015, the plaintiff received a $1.55 million bonus while the male co-head of her department was given a $5.5 million bonus.

Whistle-blower protection laws have been enacted so that employees can alert authorities about illegal activities at their workplaces without fear of retaliation. Such employees cannot be fired or demoted for filing a complaint. An attorney who has experience with these matters can outline the remedies that a victim of such retaliation may have.

Source: USA Today, “Lawsuit: Bank of America misled trading partners,” Kevin McCoy, May 18, 2016

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