HSBC Executive Sues Employer For Discrimination and Retaliation

litigation against banks for employee and employer relation issuesMonique Thacker, a HSBC executive who worked at the financial institution for nearly a decade, recently sued her employer for national origin discrimination and whistleblower retaliation. According to the complaint filed in New York federal court, Thacker “was subjected to adverse employment actions and treated differently and worse than her white counterparts because of her national origin and because she raised concerns about serious compliance and regulatory issues.” 

Thacker’s Experience With Discrimination and Retaliation at HSBC 

Despite being one of the bank’s top performers, Thacker’s superiors repeatedly refused to give her raises and promotions, while less-qualified white co-workers were given job titles involving work that Thacker had already been doing. After Thacker took on more responsibility and risk on the job in 2021, a co-worker suggested giving Thacker a raise. To this suggestion, Thacker’s supervisor, who had allegedly verbally assaulted her in 2019, responded with a profanity-laced way of saying no. In a separate instance, Thacker was yet again a victim of workplace verbal harassment when a senior HR manager, told Thacker “you’re dark” during a meeting. Thacker’s legal team responded to this comment emphasizing that it “was vile and offensive and is evidence of the national origin bias that thrives at HSBC.”

The second part of the complaint alludes to the retaliation Thacker faced after reporting two HSBC employees for using WhatsApp against the company’s compliance codes. Because the two employees worked under an important team, they were not disciplined harshly. Thacker claims that this is “100% consistent with ‘Business’ ‘winning out’ over ‘Compliance’.” Following her report of the incident, Thacker claims that she was met with hostile behavior from other HSBC employees. One supervisor refused to speak to her, include her in important meetings, and ask for her feedback before making important decisions. According to the complaint, “HSBC discriminated against plaintiff in reckless disregard of her civil rights under New York State and New York City Human Rights statutes.”

Discrimination and Retaliation Laws in New York State

Under Section 296 of New York State Law, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees based on “age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, or status as a victim of domestic violence.”  

Section 740 of New York State Law protects employees from retaliation for reporting a violation of the law that “creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.” In February 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed an amendment that expanded the scope of protected individuals and activities under the whistleblower law. 

Seek Legal Assistance Today 

Have you experienced discrimination or retaliation at work? The Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis is here to help! Our employment lawyers are located in New York City and in Livingston, New Jersey. Contact us today at (646) 453-5878 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. 

Expert attorneys at our law firm specialize in many areas of the law, including FMLA and unpaid wages and overtime. Whatever your employment issue is, please reach out for a consultation today.