• Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Commerzbank: London court awards £300,685 to ex-employee in sex bias suit

Jagruti Rajput sued her ex-employer arguing she had been passed over for promotion, sidelined and her prospects crushed in the run-up to and following maternity leave in 2016

Commerzbank, which successfully appealed elements of the case, said it was disappointed with the tribunal’s decision (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

A former Commerzbank compliance officer has been awarded £300,685 after winning a sex and maternity discrimination and harassment claim in a London tribunal following a near seven-year battle against the German bank.

Jagruti Rajput, a former deputy head of markets compliance who joined Commerzbank in 2012, sued the bank in 2017, arguing she had been passed over for promotion, sidelined and her prospects crushed in the run-up to and following maternity leave in 2016.

It is unusual for such cases to play out in court because the vast majority settle, often because employers are wary of the reputational damage of airing internal disputes in open court.

The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled she had a 60 per cent chance of being promoted had she not been subjected to unlawful discrimination – a key consideration when calculating financial compensation – in a judgment published on Monday (20).

Commerzbank, which successfully appealed elements of the case, said it was disappointed with the tribunal’s decision on liability and was in the early stages of an appeal.

“The bank strives to offer an inclusive working environment and does not tolerate workplace discrimination of any sort,” the bank said in a statement.

Rajput’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment outside work hours.

Rajput had sought almost £580,000, arguing she would have had an 80 per cent chance of being promoted in a fair process.

However, one senior banker said she had an “unhealthy obsession with work” and another called her “controlling”. She was discouraged from attending meetings while on maternity leave and was denied managerial parts of her work on her return.

Rajput said this upended her health and career prospects, leading to a breakdown in 2018, suicidal thoughts, paralysing flashbacks, and panic attacks.

The tribunal awarded her just over £201,650 for loss of salary, bonus and pension payments and £25,000 for injury to feelings plus interest.

It did not make an award for an additional claim of aggravated damages and to cover the costs of training or psychotherapy, the judgment showed.

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