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Commerzbank: "degrading" and "humiliating" work environment - Case won by Senior Compliance Officer

A tribunal found that a Senior Compliance Officer at Commerzbank was subjected to a "degrading" and "humiliating" environment.

In her lawsuit against the bank with its headquarters in Germany, Jagruti Rajput had achieved a second success.

She was exposed to a "degrading, humiliating or offensive environment" at the bank, the employment tribunal in London concluded.

Ms. Rajput was denied a fair chance to be promoted to a more senior position because her manager claimed she had a "unhealthy obsession with work."

According to the tribunal, "We concluded that the effect of the treatment was sufficient to create a degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the claimant."

The charges made by Ms. Rajput center on claims that her manager treated her unfairly while considering her for the position of Head of Markets Compliance because he thought she was "divisive."

When questioned by the claimant, the manager reportedly denied appointing a different individual to serve as interim head of the markets group, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, he was charged with downplaying the fact that he had treated a male teammate as a senior member.

"It undermined me, made me doubt myself and think I was going mad when he knew exactly what he was doing," Ms. Rajput noted.

Additionally, Ms. Rajput's previous boss said that she had a "unhealthy obsession with work." According to the tribunal, there was "no evidence" that he "considered any man to have such a 'unhealthy obsession' based on working long hours."

Commerzbank issued a statement in which it stated: "We are, of course, disappointed with the decision of the employment tribunal but we as an employer remain committed to equal opportunities in our workplace… We will consider appropriate next steps."

Following claims that management had unfairly overlooked her for a promotion and had used her maternity leave to transfer "significant elements" of her position to a colleague, the employment tribunal decided in Ms. Rajput's favor in 2018.

She requested that the judge urge Commerzbank to take "positive action to train and independently mentor" her in order to advance. If there was a "tie break" between Ms. Rajput and another applicant, she also asked that her company give her preference for the position since she was a woman, according to Bloomberg.



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