Too Hot to Be a Banker?

Is it possible to be too attractive for your job? That’s what the world (well, at least the greater New York area) is wondering in the wake of Debrahlee Lorenzana’s allegations that she was fired from CitiBank for being “too hot.”

It’s an odd situation really… most sexual harassment suits involve allegations that employers are trying to make their female employees more sexy (encouraging skimpy clothing, pressuring them into uncomfortable situations, cat-calling, etc.). But in Lorenzana’s case, she alleges that her employers told her to stop wearing turtlenecks (apparently the turtleneck is a sexy item of apparel, who knew?), to stop wearing fitted suits, and to basically stop wearing anything that accentuated her shape.

When she cited other female employees who were wearing the same items without being reprimanded: “They said their body shapes were different from mine, and I drew too much attention,” she says.

Apparently, the men at Citibank are so dominated by their penises that they can’t think straight if an attractive female walks by… let alone if they’re wearing a turtleneck.

What does this say about the state of corporate America – and women’s fight for equality in the workplace? Are men – or at least bankers – so stupid that they really can’t think if a pretty girl is in the room? How can women fight back?

Well, Lorenzana isn’t helping her case much with her photoshoot in the Village Voice where she wears tight clothes and pushes her chest out… but that doesn’t change the facts of the case.

And, her case against Citibank is pretty compelling. She filed a series of complaints with HR; she asked for training sessions from Citibank, but didn’t receive them; her accounts were given to other (male) colleagues at the same time that she was being cited for not bringing in enough new business; the list goes on.

But, one of the most damning items in the case is a letter she received saying she was being put on “final notice.” In the letter, it says that she came in late on June 6 and 7…. a Saturday and a Sunday. The branch was closed on those days. Could Citibank be more stupid?

Well, there is one “smart” thing Citibank did. They force all their employees to sign an arbitration agreement…. meaning that Lorenzana’s case will never be put before a judge and jury. Instead, an arbitrator will decide.

I hope she gets a bundle. It’s about time a group of slimy bankers have to pay the piper for their inability to think independently from their groins.