Citibank worker says good looks got her fired
Debrahlee Lorenzana alleges that management says her "shapeliness" upset her "easily distracted" male colleagues.
New York: A woman in New York has sued Citigroup Inc, accusing the bank of firing her for being too good-looking.
The bank believes the lawsuit should be dismissed, or else sent to arbitration, court records show.
Debrahlee Lorenzana alleged that management had warned her not to dress like her female co-workers because her "shapeliness" upset her "easily distracted" male colleagues and supervisors.
The lawsuit was filed in November 2009. It received new attention after The Village Voice published an article about the 33-year-old, 5-foot-6 (1.68-m), 125-pound (57-kg) Lorenzana.
Lorenzana and her lawyer Jack Tuckner were not available to comment on Thursday.
According to the complaint, soon after beginning work in September 2008 at a Citibank branch in Manhattan's Chrysler building, Lorenzana was advised by supervisors not to wear turtlenecks, pencil skirts and fitted suits because her figure made such attire "too distracting" for male workers to bear.
Lorenzana said management told her that female co-workers were not similarly told what to wear because their "general unattractiveness rendered moot their sartorial choices."
Efforts to dress down did not end management's complaints, the single mother told the Voice. "I could have worn a paper bag, and it would not have mattered," she said.
After complaining about her treatment, Lorenzana said she was transferred to a Rockefeller Center branch but given a remote desk that made it difficult to sign up customers.
Lorenzana was fired in August 2009, for reasons including "inappropriate" attire and a failure to meet new account quotas, the complaint said.
Citigroup rejected Lorenzana's allegations.
"Her termination was solely performance-based and not at all related to her appearance or attire," the bank said in a statement. "We are confident that when all of the facts and documentation are presented, the claim will be dismissed."
The lawsuit was filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. It seeks lost pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and other remedies.
The case is Lorenzana v. Citigroup Inc, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 116382/2009.