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Citigroup Sued For Gender Bias

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on October 18, 2010 12:50 PM

Pay women less, promote women less often, fire women first. That is a business model with a virtual guarantee for a gender bias lawsuit, and all also happen to be the claims against Citigroup. Citigroup is being sued for gender bias stemming from the company's large 2008 layoffs.

The Associated Press reports that Citigroup has always assumed a "boy club" mentality in their approach to middle and upper management hiring and promotions. The AP quotes the suit: "Given the disparity in the most senior-level positions, it is not surprising to find that the boys club filters down through the management ranks to effect all senior and junior level professional positions at Citigroup."

The Citigroup gender bias suit was filed on behalf of six Citigroup female employees and seeks unspecified damages, class action certification, and an end to the pattern of discrimination. The suit also claims that Citigroup engaged in a form of "recessionary discrimination" -- firing women and retaining less capable male employees during the economic downturn.

There are federal laws in place to ensure the equal treatment of women in the workforce. Not only is this lawsuit bad for Citigroup's publicity, but could potentially cost the company a lot of money in damages. In addition to the six women that are part of the suit, there have been over fifty complaints against Citigroup relating to some form of unequal treatment. For their part, Citigroup claims that the allegations in the lawsuit, "are either totally inaccurate or selectively incomplete. The facts do not support support their claims of gender discrimination."

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