NEW YORK - Debrahlee Lorenzana claims that Citibank fired her because her bosses thought she was too much of a babe to be a banker.
"It's so tiring," Lorenzana tells the Village Voice . "My entire life, I've been dealing with this. I couldn't take it anymore!"
Lorenzana, a 33-year-old financial services professional the Village Voice describes as "a head-turning beauty" with "JLo curves meets Jessica Simpson rack meets Audrey Hepburn elegance," alleges that she was axed last summer from her $70,000-a-year job in a Manhattan branch because she is too good-looking.
Lorenzana, who is suing Citibank for wrongful termination and sexual harassment, says her bosses told her they couldn't concentrate on their work because her appearance was too distracting, and ordered her to stop wearing turtlenecks, pencil skirts, 3-inch heels or fitted business suits.
"I could have worn a paper bag, and it would not have mattered," the single mom told the Village Voice. "If it wasn't my shirt, it was my pants. If it wasn't my pants, it was my shoes. They picked on me every single day."
Lorenzana complained that some of her female colleagues wore clothing that was far more revealing.
After several correspondences with human resources and a transfer to a different branch, Citibank fired Lorenzana in August, citing disciplinary problems and poor performance.
MyFox NY reported that Citi issued a statement on Thursday in response to the allegations by Lorenzana:
"We believe this lawsuit is without merit and we will defend against it vigorously. We respect the privacy of all of our employees and therefore cannot comment more specifically on this litigation, this former employee's overall performance, or the reasons for her termination- which an arbitration panel must resolve. Citi is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and providing a respectful environment in the workplace. We have a strong commitment to diversity and we do not condone, or tolerate, discrimination within our business for any reason."
A private arbitrator will eventually decide Lorenzana's case.
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