Sex and Citigroup: Banker Fired for Looks? - TheStreet

Sex and Citigroup: Banker Fired for Looks?

A former Citibank branch employee, Debrahlee Lorenzana, alleges in a lawsuit that she was fired for being too attractive.
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(Citigroup/Citibank Lorenzana story updated for Citi comment)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The sequel to the popular

Sex and the City

franchise has disappointed some critics, but a real-life feature,

Sex and the Citi

, has been playing out on the Web this week.

Citigroup's

(C) - Get Report

retail banking operation, Citibank, has been sued by a former branch employee, Debrahlee Lorenzana, who alleges that she was fired by Citibank for being "too attractive."

Debrahlee Lorenzana, who worked as a business banker at a branch in the Chrysler Building, alleges in the lawsuit that male managers decided to play fashion Nazis, telling her she couldn't wear pencil skirts or any type of fitted business attire to work.

The single mom says that managers went so far as to point at her rear and complain that her pants were too tight. The

Village Voice

, which first brought the story to light in a cover story on Tuesday, described Lorenzana as having "J. Lo curves."

Lorenzana also alleges in her lawsuit that, after complaining to Citibank's human resources department, male managers retaliated by giving her performance targets that she couldn't possibly meet, since she was never trained on those tasks.

Citibank is not about to coronate Lorenzana as a beauty queen, though, saying that it dismissed her for work-performance issues and that it will, in boilerplate legal parlance, "vigorously defend itself" against the allegations. Lorenzana's case will never see a jury, according to the

Voice

, because the terms of her employment mandate arbitration.

Natalie Riper, a Citi spokeswoman, wrote in an email statement to

TheStreet

that "Ms. Lorenzana has chosen to make numerous unfounded accusations and inaccurate statements against Citibank and several of our employees. While we will not discuss the details of her case, we can say that her termination was solely performance-based and not at all related to her appearance or attire. We are confident that when all of the facts and documentation are presented, the claim will be dismissed."

Also according to the

Voice

, Lorenzana is a self-professed shopaholic with a closet full of brands that can match the wardrobe of

Sex and the City's

Carrie Bradshaw.

Lorenzana's lawyer, who's been making the local-media rounds, recently said on New York's

Channel 4 News

, "Maybe they

Lorenzana's managers were uncomfortable because they didn't feel like they could hit on her over long periods of time, and instead, wanted to make her wear a tent or burka."

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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