Ex-Lehman VP Alleges Gender Discrimination

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A former vice president at Lehman Brothers filed a discrimination lawsuit charging she was forced out of the firm after she filed a gender discrimination complaint.

According to media reports, Karen McDermott, who was Lehman's vice president of internal communications, was fired less than a month after filing her complaint. She is seeking unspecified monetary damages for alleged gender discrimination. Lehman says the lawsuit has no merit.

McDermott claims she was told she was "negative" and Lehman doesn't like women to be "too aggressive" when she told her boss about allegedly racist remarks made during a corporate training session. McDermott, who is white, wasn't at the session, but the remarks were reported to her by someone who was. She says a human resources executive warned her not to "align" herself with an African-American colleague who attended the session and complained about the comments.

A spokesperson for Lehman, Kerrie Cohen, told the New York Daily News the firm "takes very seriously its commitment to providing a respectful and inclusive work environment for all its employees."

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