JERSEY CITY, NJ - An HSBC Bank female employee who claims she was sexually molested on the job, has filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the bank of committing gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. The complaint was filed with the United States District Court, District of New Jersey on October 4, 2010.
Pegged as the world's local bank, HSBC allegedly allowed a female employee who had been there two years to continue to be sexually harassed by a male employee. Here are the allegations in detail:
The bank teller is a student and used the part-time job at HSBC as a way to make ends meet while studying chemical engineering, but was continually subjected to sexual harassment and complained about it. In a real act of bad judgment, the bank forced the female employee to work with the known harasser even after her complaints. The bank manager, who no longer works at HSBC never paid attention due to his own personal issues outside of the job. Unsuccessful at an attempt to get any resolution from his subordinates to take action, he quit soon after the harassment complaints came in.
According to Attorney John Johnson, who represents the bank teller in this matter, "It's yet another story of sexual harassment not being reported due to fear of retaliation from the employer, but this time the brave college student decided that she would no longer be the victim and pressed criminal charges against the male employee resulting in conviction."
The employee then Johnson decided to take on the case against the bank. The bank teller alleges that upon being hired by HSBC, the male employee began to make unwanted advances toward her and though she told the male employee began to make unwanted advances toward her and though she told the male employee that she was not interested and there to only work her way through college he continued to make advances. The claim is that harassment consisted of daily sexual comments, innuendos, and sexually suggestive touching by the male employee. In one incident, the bank teller was bending over to retrieve something on the floor when the male employee came up behind her and smacked her on the buttocks in front of witnesses with papers that he had in his hand. She then informed her supervisor who informed the male employee that his actions were inappropriate for the workplace. The supervisor informed the branch manager who took no action and forced the two employees to continue working together. The male employee's name is Yagnesh Yvas, and he plead guilty to criminal harassment because "the bank didn't do anything." HSBC Human Resources representative, Sandra Keiths, asked the bank teller questions about her relationship with the employee and inquired as to what she was wearing so as to suggest the victim provoked the attacker.
"This female employee has shown an extraordinary amount of courage in coming forward, and our firm fully expects to vindicate her rights at trial," said Johnson. "No business should knowingly allow its employees to engage in such sexually discriminatory behavior without stopping and punishing the offender. In this case, HSBC made the victim feel as though she caused the harassment, and then retaliated against her."
About John Johnson & Associates
John Johnson & Associates is a law firm that specializes in litigation as well as counseling clients in a wide array of substantive legal areas, including employment law, labor relations, and commercial litigation.