BLOG

HSBC Banker Accuses Employer of Retaliation

By Leeds Brown Law | June 9, 2015

British Bank Faces Retaliation Lawsuit

Two male employees in the New York office of HSBC, the UK-based banking behemoth, have filed separate federal lawsuits accusing their employer of wrongful retaliation because they expressed concerns about the existence of sexual harassment within the organization.

Michael Picarella, a senior vice president with HSBC, says that he and colleague James Rist notified top officials at the bank when they learned that a supervisor had pressured a female employee to sleep with one of the senior executives at the bank. Shortly after disclosing their concerns, Picarella and Rist were both demoted. Though Picarella is still an employee, Rist has left the bank.

Picarella also says the company has engaged in other retaliatory conduct, including refusing to pay him a bonus for his work in 2014. Picarella told the court in his complaint that he had received a bonus every year he had worked for the bank. He also alleged that he had been denied access to his office, as well as the bank’s systems, and was told that these actions were taken because he had wrongfully disclosed confidential information, an allegation he says HSBC has no factual basis to support. Picarella says that HSBC’s actions have “effectively destroyed …a once-promising career in the financial services industry.”

In his complaint, Rist says that his annual compensation was dramatically reduced and that HSBC required that he report to a colleague who had previously been his subordinate. He alleged that the bank’s actions were part of an intentional effort to “cover up a culture of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.”

Picarella and Rist both allege that the bank’s head of business development for the Americas, Eileen Hedges, regularly harassed the unnamed female employee, telling her that she needed to wear more sexually suggestive clothing, and pressuring her to sleep with male executives and customers. According to Rist, Hedges pulled the female colleague aside at a holiday party, told her to “dump” her boyfriend, and to “show more skin” at work. Hedges then tried to pull the woman’s blouse down.

Hedges has since been terminated by HSBC.

Contact the Employment Law Attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, PC

At Leeds Brown Law, we provide aggressive and effective legal counsel to anyone who has been subjected to unlawful discrimination at work, based on race, gender, age, disability or any other improper or illegal classification. Call us at 516-873-9550 or 212-661-4370 (toll-free at 1-800-585-4658) or send us an e-mail to schedule a meeting.

Free Consultation

Testimonials

Shortly after beginning medical school, I experienced some academic difficulties. After seeing my physicians, I was diagnosed with ADHD. After I started receiving specific treatment for ADHD, I requested the school to accommodate me for the disability as recommended by my physician. One of the requests made was for extended time to take my exams. The extension of time was granted...

~Kenneth Broodo, Esq.

Partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
I hired Lenard Leeds, Esq. to assist me with my wrongful termination. I was let go of my position because of my age. I was not only told to take a decrease in pay but also required to work fewer hours to do the same job. Additionally, they kept asking me “When are you going to retire?” I visited the...

~SanFranReview

I want to thank you again for assisting me in overseeing my issues with my employer. This is the second time I have used Lenard Leeds, Esq. to fight for me. This time I was a National Sales Manager of a drug company, where acts of discrimination based on my age, national origin and retaliation took place. Mr. Leeds and...

~Law Professor

Discrimination Case

$19 Million

Settlement Secured in a National Origin
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.

LONG ISLAND

One Old Country Road, Suite 347 Carle Place, NY 11514

516-873-9550

get directions

DOWNTOWN

570 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1600A New York, NY 10022

212-661-4370

get directions

DOWNTOWN NYC

101 Greenwich Street, 22nd Floor New York, NY 10006

800-585-4658

get directions
Call Now!