Citigroup to employees: Speak up on cases of 'unacceptable behaviour'

New memo comes as Citigroup faces harassment-related lawsuit

Citigroup to employees: Speak up on cases of 'unacceptable behaviour'

Employees of Citigroup are being encouraged to raise incidents of "unacceptable behaviour" when they see one following a harassment-related lawsuit made against the major investment bank last week, according to reports.

Bloomberg reported a memo from Andy Morton, Citigroup's global head of markets, which underscored to employees the importance of "acting decisively" when they see inappropriate behaviour.

"Part of everyone's role in creating a culture of the highest standards involves stepping in at the moment we see something wrong," Morton said in the note reported by Bloomberg.

Another part of the memo was reported by Reuters, where Morton stressed that "decisive action" will be carried out against inappropriate behaviour.

"No colleague should ever be discriminated against or harassed," Morton said as quoted by Reuters. "We will take decisive action when we determine unacceptable behaviour has taken place."

Allegations against Citigroup

The memo comes as Citigroup faces a lawsuit from one of its managing directors, who alleged that she faced "horrifying sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and sexual assault during her tenure at the firm."

According to the allegations in the lawsuit, the bank has "knowingly tolerated" an environment has been "openly and notoriously hostile to women."

"Within the Bank's Equities division, Citi has permitted, and, in some instances, has encouraged a locker room environment on its trading floor in which men have treated women as sexual objects and denigrated their accomplishments," the lawsuit said.

The managing director also alleged in the suit that one of her supervisors, who was also one of the bank's senior-most global executives, subjected her to "unrelenting abuse and unlawful conduct."

The executive allegedly coerced the director into a relationship with him for years, and then subjected her to abuse via text messages and phone calls when the director ended it in October 2022.

The manager reported the abuse to the company's HR department - but she alleged that the bank "attempted to silence" her claims.

According to the manager, Citigroup also allegedly allowed the executive to resign and gave him praises when he left the bank. They also did not report the conduct to the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency.

Citigroup asserts position against harassment

The bank told the media that it plans to defend itself against the claims made by the managing director, who has been on approved leave since late 2022.

Citigroup told Bloomberg that setting aside what they think are the merits of any individual claim, no one should ever be harassed in the workplace. It also issued a statement similar to what Morton would later tell employees.

"Our colleagues should feel confident they can raise concerns about themselves or others without fear of retribution, and decisive action must be taken when unacceptable behaviour takes place," the bank said as quoted by Bloomberg.

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