Case Studies and Fact Sheets

£2.8m in Racial Discrimination Case (Abbey UK)

An Asian bank worker has won a record £2.8m in compensation for racial discrimination after losing his job.

Balbinder Chagger, 40, of Indian origin, won the payout after convincing a tribunal that during a round of cutbacks, Abbey retrenched him rather than a similarly performing colleague and that his race was a factor in the decision.

He was initially awarded £50,000 but he went back for more, after deciding that he had underestimated his potential losses and future earnings.

In his subsequent claim for £4.3m, he argued that he was now forced to retrain as a Maths teacher after being made redundant from his £100,000-a-year job as a Trading Risk Controller in 2006.

Mr Chagger, of Hayes, Middlesex, said he was turned down for more than 100 job applications before he quit the City entirely.

His lawyers argued that it would not be possible for him to obtain equivalent employment and he should be compensated on the basis he would suffer a 75 per cent loss of earnings.



This long running case was settled after an employee claims she was sexually harassed, discriminated against, victimised and bullied.

She sought $11 million in damages for loss of earning, loss of clients, counselling and damage to her reputation.

Ms Rich had detailed a series of alleged sexual harassment incidents from 1999 to 2004.

She alleges a partner felt her breasts and another -- her immediate boss -- repeatedly invited her to his hotel room during a conference in 1999 and adopted a practice of greeting her with a kiss, despite her objections.

This case follows a landmark settlement of $US54 million paid to several women by Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley in New York in July last year over discrimination and workplace sexism.


Deutsche Bank Employee awarded £800,000 in bullying payout

UK High Court Judge, Justice Owen stated that Deutsche Bank had waged a relentless campaign of mean and spiteful behaviour designed to cause distress" that left employee Helen Green on several occasions crying silently at her desk.

The largest part of the £800,000 award to Helen Green a former Deutsche Bank Employee, is the £640,000 awarded for future loss of earnings and a pension.

The case heard that Green who was employed as a Company Secretary Assistant, was verbally abused, ignored and subjected to crude insults.
Colleagues would remove her from circulation lists and hide documents.

The Bank paid for counselling and training but unfortunately Green suffered a nervous breakdown and again relapsed when she returned to work.


Muslim Employees win Multi Million payout over Sexual Harassment

Samira and Hanan Fariad, sisters who both worked for London Trader Tradition made 200 separate allegations of Sexual Harassment & Discrimination against the bank.

The case was dramatically halted after Tradition agreed an out-of-court settlement in return for the women signing confidentiality clauses.

It is believed that the French twins, who both earned six-figure sums, secured a multi-million pound payout after demanding up to £10million in compensation.

Tradition spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal fees and tried in vain to prevent any reporting of the women's allegations of sexual misconduct.

It succeeded in keeping secret the identities of leading employees accused of misconduct 

Their counsel said that the women were keen that their allegations of sexual harassment be fully reported despite Tradition's bid to ban reporting of them.

The tribunal heard that the women had alleged that brokers took clients to Secrets lap-dancing club on London's Gray's Inn Road.

Tradition's parent company, Compagnie Financiere Tradition, is one of the world's largest broker firms with a 2007 turnover of £770m.


$74 Million Sexual Discrimination Payout

In 2004, Morgan Stanley settled a sex discrimination suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lead plaintiff, Alison Schieffelin a Bond Seller, received $12 million.

Schieffelin said that Morgan Stanley condoned a “hostile workplace where men made sexist comments and organised trips to topless bars and strip clubs.”.

Women were excluded from these outings, including her clients.

She eventually filed a complaint with the Commission, which sued the firm.


£1m bullying payout for Cantor Fitzgerald trader

An employee has won £1m in compensation from his former employer, the international broking firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Steven Horkulak, quit his £400,000-a-year job in June 2000 because Lee Amaitis, the head of the company's UK division, used "the language of criminal intimidators".Mr Amaitis, 53, allegedly told Mr Horkulak, 39, that he would "break him in two" on one occasion. He had also threatened to "rip his head off", the High Court in London was told.Cantor Fitzgerald had argued in court in court that shouting and swearing were commonplace in the broking world because of its highly pressured nature.

However, Mr Justice Newman said in his judgment: "I reject as fallacious that where very substantial sums of money are paid by an employer, it acquires the right to treat employees according to a different standard of conduct


Half a Million Dollars in Damages Awarded for Sexual Harassment by Australian Federal Court

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Employment Services Australia (ESA) to pay a former consultant - who was sexually harassed and then sacked for false reasons - nearly half a million dollars in lost remuneration, pain and suffering.

The consultant claimed that she was regularly subjected to inappropriate conduct such as:

  • A director making a comment, in the presence of others, that she had "two good assets" while staring at her breasts
  • Was sent unsolicited emails and text messages from a colleague asking her to have a sexual relationship. The contractor recounted this behaviour to a supervisor, but was told: "What do you expect with a face like yours?";
  • Was  asked by the same supervisor to enter into a sexual relationship with a man from another company to help secure a deal; and
  • Was sent a overtly sexual image to her mobile phone by another worker, who also harassed her by telephone to have sex with him.

The consultant contended that after these events she came to be "isolated within the office", was barred from discussions, and had her clients taken away from her without justification or explanation

She was issued with a number of cautionary warning letters and, in February 2006, was sacked for "poor performance".

She has since been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Justice Mansfield established that the warning letters were "unwarranted", and were in fact designed to "set the scene" for her sacking.

"[The consultant] was not treated as the victim of sexual harassment but as a problem to be dealt with," he said.

The consultant's' grievances had met with little response, he noted, and were never investigated. The employer, Justice Mansfield said, "had no formal policy for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination".


US Multi Million Dollar Sexual Harassment - 2010

The Chief Executive Officer of a Financial Company in the US State of Georgia regularly groped female employees while making sexual comments.

Evangelina Forsberg was grabbed by James Penfanis (allegedly) by her genitals, when he then announced in the presence of other employees that she “had a tiny vagina”.

Ms Forsberg then filed a complaint, however the company then submitted a forged witness statement by one of the witnesses (a coworker) David Popke, saying that he did not recall the incident occurring.

Conversely, when he was tracked down in another state by Ms Forsberg’s attorney, he recounted the incident in great detail. He also maintained that the company had asked him to sign the false statement, inferring that his employment depended on it.

The court then struck all defenses and allowed the case to proceed on the question of how much money should be awarded to Ms Forsberg.

Because of the physical contact, Ms. Forsberg sued for assault and battery against  Penfanis and the company. The jury awarded $1 million on that claim plus $1 million in punitive damages. She sued the company for negligence in keeping Penfanis in his position of authority, and she won $100,000 plus $3 million in punitive damages for that claim. She also won awards for the sexual harassment and reprisal totaling another $550,000 plus $3 million in punitive damages.

The company engaged in more dubious behaviour in its effort to circumvent liability, such as attempting to transfer assets. Fortunately, Ms. Forsberg and her attorney were persistent with the intention of making the CEO and the Company recompense for their appalling behaviour.


$15 million dollars awarded in Age Discrimination Case

More than 200 former employees of Electronics Chain “Circuit City” will share in a $15 million settlement of a lawsuit in which they claimed they were laid off due to Age Discrimination

In March 2007, the US based Circuit City Stores Inc. laid off 3,400 employees who earned more than the local rate for a similar job. The former employees' lawsuit, filed in April 2007, maintained they were replaced with lower-paid, new workers.

Because pay rate was the only criteria the company used in deciding which employees were terminated, the brunt fell on senior employees, who were in most cases older in age.


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