Meet Debrahlee Lorenzana, the woman claiming to be “too hot” for Citibank.
The stunning 33-year-old New York banker is suing the U.S banking giant, claiming she was harrassed and then fired for being “too sexy”.
The tall, buxom brunette claims in the lawsuit that her manager told her to “refrain from wearing certain items of clothing, in particular, turtleneck tops, pencil skirts, fitted business suits, or other properly tailored clothing”.
It appears the stunner’s killer bod was deemed a huge distraction by her hot-blooded male colleagues as soon as she sashayed into Citibank’s Chrysler Building branch in September 2008.
Bank supervisors reportedly told Lorenzana, who stands 1.70 metre-tall and weighs 56 kilos, that she should also refrain from wearing classic high-heeled business pumps as they drew attention to her curves.
But the Latina businesswoman claims it was not her wardrobe that was inappropriate; she says she shops at the same stores as her colleagues, citing Zara as an example. It was just the way her body looked in them.
When she protested that her female colleagues were dressed far more provocatively than she was, the bank allegedly told her those women were different because they were ”not as attractive”.
The single mother’s complaints of harrassment to Citibank’s Human Resources department resulted in a transfer to another branch where her circumstances worsened. She was eventually fired by the bank last year on grounds that she failed to recruit new customers.
The lawsuit is making headlines around the world and has catapulted Lorenzana to instant superstardom. Her claims have now also triggered the fierce age-old debate on gender discrimination at the workplace.
After all, according to reports, Lorenzana had won praise and a few customer service awards from her previous employers including Bank of America and Metropolitan Hospital in Queens.
“She was punished because her male colleagues couldn’t handle their libidos,” her New York City lawyer, Jack Tuckner, told The New York Post.
Citibank responded by telling the New York press, ”We believe the lawsuit is without merit and will defend against it vigorously.”
The bank insists that the her dismissal was purely “performance-based”.
If the banker beauty is telling the truth and those outfits really were what she wore to work, her office style is impeccable.
But the lawsuit raises an interesting question – should a woman be fired for being too attractive?
Timothy, 27, an accountant, told Yahoo! Singapore, “If she’s wearing clothes that are too revealing, of course it can be very distracting. But as long as she’s dressed appropriately for work, I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Another 22-year-old female Citibank employee who declined to be named, added, “If she’s not violating the dress code, any distraction caused to the men in the office is really not her problem.”
Valid concerns or outright discrimination? You decide.