Citigroup Fires 'White Men's Club' Plaintiff
Citigroup has fired Ramesh Menon, the head of its U.S. structured investment group who last month filed a $138m discrimination lawsuit against the bank.
Menon claimed the bank denied him promotions which went to less-qualified white male colleagues and demoted him when he complained about his treatment.
Menon, a naturalised U.S. citizen of Indian birth, filed the suit last month when he was still working at the bank. He is seeking $38m in compensatory damages and at least $100m in punitive damages.
Citigroup said in a statement: "For more than a year, Menon has failed to adhere to basic requirements of his job, such as coming to the office every day and performing his managerial responsibilities."
According to the statement Menon's conduct continued to deteriorate despite counselling and repeated warnings from his manager, and this resulted in a written warning last month. "He was instructed to be present in the office and perform his responsibilities diligently. Regrettably, Menon chose to disregard this warning," the statement said.
The bank added that it "expects all of its employees to adhere to professional workplace standards," and that Menon was "unwilling to meet these standards."
In reference to Menon's lawsuit against Citigroup, the bank said: "As we have stated previously, we believe the lawsuit is without merit, its allegations are false, and we will contest it vigorously."
Citigroup added that it is "fully committed to fair employment practices and to providing a respectful and professional workplace free of discrimination".
Richard Horowitz, an attorney at Heller, Horowitz & Feit who is representing Menon, said: "We think the proffered reason for his firing is pretextual and he is being fired for pressing his discrimination claim, which has been filed in federal court."