The multinational investment bank Citigroup is being sued by a gay man who claims he was demoted and discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.
The allegations by gay banker Thomas Krauss appear to counter Citigroup’s proud ranking as the most LGBT-inclusive financial services employer in the Stonewall Top 100.
Krauss joined the firm in 2010 and until recently led the firm’s capital introduction group for the Americas, Bloomberg reported.
He says he was targeted when he uncovered complaints of sexual harassment made against a new hire on his team, Deutsche Bank veteran Joseph Genovese.
Concerned that Genovese’s hiring could put Citigroup at risk of creating a “hostile and offensive work environment,” the suit says Krauss disclosed what he learned to senior Citigroup managers, who later withdrew the offer made to Genovese.
Although Krauss made the disclosure in confidence, he claims that several executives pushed to find out who “blew the whistle” on Genovese.
Once they learned it was Krauss, they allegedly began a campaign to punish him which eventually resulted in him being demoted.
Sadly the retaliation didn’t end there: despite receiving consistently positive evaluations, Krauss’s 2019 year-end review reflected a decrease in his leadership rating, which led to a pay reduction and “effectively destroyed his Citi career,” according to the complaint.
Krauss also alleges that he was denied a promotion to managing director because of his sexual orientation and for extra work he did on behalf of the company’s LGBT+ initiatives.
“It is easy to say you are not tolerant of discrimination but action, as is true with Citi, speaks louder than empty words,” said Krauss’s lawyer Daniel Kaiser in a statement Monday (3 August).
Citigroup said it had investigated the matter and denies Krauss was a victim of discrimination.
“We take issues of this nature very seriously,” Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said in a statement to Bloomberg.
“When Mr Krauss’ concerns were first raised earlier this year, they were independently and thoroughly reviewed and not substantiated.”
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