SEARCH

Entries in Deutsche Bank (5)

Wednesday
Sep192012

Deutsche Bank Accused of Retaliation After Firing VP Who Sued for Being 'Mommy-Tracked'

Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Deutsche Bank Wednesday got slapped with a retaliation lawsuit after terminating a seasoned vice president who last year sued the bank for gender discrimination, claiming she was "mommy-tracked" for taking maternity leave.

"I worked extremely hard and, as a working mom, I sacrificed so much. I just wanted to be treated equally and no different than my male colleagues," Kelley Voelker told ABC News.

Voelker, now in her mid-40s, was a vice president with the bank's securities lending desk for 14 years. In a still-pending lawsuit filed in September 2011, she claimed that despite consistently high performance reviews, Deutsche Bank denied her a promotion and eventually demoted her, one of its few female vice presidents, solely because of her gender and recent childbirth.

Voelker accused the bank of promoting equally-qualified male candidates while her workplace had a "hostile and degrading" atmosphere towards women. She claimed one of her managers frequently used vulgar sexual language and another took clients to strip clubs.

When Voelker was about to go on maternity leave in 2003 with her first child, she said one superior "expressed his doubts" she would return to the company. Her discrimination lawsuit claimed her supervisors, "never took her seriously because she was a woman starting a family, and this was seen as a huge negative within the company."

In late 2009, when she announced her need to go on maternity leave with her last child, the suit claimed "her exemplary performance was further ignored and her male colleagues ensured her alienation through their actions on and around the trading desk."

When Voelker questioned a decision made by one of her superiors in fall 2009, another executive said, "I'd watch your step -- she's pregnant," the suit claims. In response, her supervisor replied, "No need to tell me. I've got one at home," referring to his pregnant wife.

Another male colleague asked her: "When is your husband gonna get it together so you can stay home with the kids?" Voelker told ABC News.

When she returned from her last maternity leave in May 2010 to a "chilling welcome," according to the suit, a superior in the company "immediately" tried to persuade her to take on a more "flexible" reduced role, a request echoed by "various members of Deutsche Bank management."

In the discrimination suit, she says she voiced "strong objections" to the idea and reiterated her desire for a long-awaited promotion.

Instead, Voelker was terminated a year after filing her 2011 discrimination suit. She was the only member of her 500-person group to be laid off as part a September 2012 "reduction in force," she said.

Wednesday's lawsuit claims Deutsche Bank "has chosen to blatantly retaliate against Ms. Voelker [for filing the 2011 discrimination lawsuit] by firing her after a campaign of behavior by company management to sideline her and induce her resignation."

In a statement to ABC News, a Deutsche Bank spokesman said: "While we take all allegations of discrimination and retaliation very seriously, we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves against these allegations."

"Retaliation is often a much more serious, actionable and provable claim than the underlying discrimination claim," employment law expert Jack Tuckner, who is not involved in this case, told ABC News. And it's the retaliation case that can bring the hefty damage awards, because now she can sue for the compensation she would have received had she not been terminated for alleged discrimination, adds Tuckner.

"We believe that this is a systemic problem at Deutsche Bank based on other cases and discussions with other witnesses," Voelker's attorney Douglas Wigdor told ABC News. Specifically, Wednesday's retaliation suit mentions a 2006 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision to censure Deutsche Bank for "evidence" of gender discrimination and one NY court's observation in 2003 that "the incommensurate and exceedingly low number of females at senior management levels suggest a glass ceiling for women" at Deutsche Bank.

Voelker said her termination left her "shocked" but that she is "now more determined than ever to see that Deutsche Bank is held accountable for what they did to me and my family."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep142011

Deutsche Bank VP Sues for Being 'Mommy-Tracked'

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A Deutsche Bank vice president is suing her employer for gender discrimination and retaliation related to her pregnancy, saying she was "mommy-tracked" for taking maternity leave.

Kelly Voelker, in her mid-40s, has been a vice president at the bank for 13 years, a tenure her lawyer says is "unheard of." She was recommended for a promotion within a few years after joining the company in November 1998 as a vice president with the bank's securities lending desk. But that recommendation was rejected despite consistently having the highest score in her performance reviews.

While Voelker sought a promotion for years, she said Deutsche Bank instead eventually demoted her, one of its few female vice presidents, solely because of her gender and recent childbirth.

In a statement, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said "we take these allegations very seriously and decline to comment further at this point."

Voelker said the bank externally hired equally qualified male candidates while her workplace had a "hostile and degrading" atmosphere towards women. The suit claims one of her managers frequently used vulgar sexual language and was aware a male director took clients to strip clubs.

When Voelker was about to go on maternity leave in 2003 with her first child, she said one superior "expressed his doubts" she would return to the company. The suit claims her supervisors, "never took her seriously because she was a woman starting a family, and this was seen as a huge negative within the company."

Voekler's attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said the tenure of a vice president at an investment bank is typically three to five years before being promoted to a director. Wigdor said all eight directors in the bank's securities lending division are male.

Maternity-related lawsuits are not new to the financial world. In August, a New York district court judge dismissed a class-action suit against Bloomberg L.P. that claimed it discriminated against pregnant mothers and those returning from leave.

In late 2009, when Voekler announced her need to go on maternity leave with her last child, the suit claims "her exemplary performance was further ignored and her male colleagues ensured her alienation through their actions on and around the trading desk."

When Voelker questioned a decision made by one of her superiors in fall 2009, another executive said, "I'd watch your step -- she's pregnant," the suit claims. In response, her supervisor replied, "No need to tell me. I've got one at home," referring to his pregnant wife.

The suit details instances in which her superiors handed assignments to a newly hired male peer, despite her successful completion of projects, before she went on maternity leave in December 2009.

When she returned in May 2010 to a "chilling welcome," according to the suit, a superior in the company "immediately" tried to persuade her to take on a more "flexible" reduced role, a request echoed by "various members of Deutsche Bank management."

Voelker voiced "strong objections" to the idea and reiterated her desire to become a director. But she said the company retaliated against her by promoting her male peer who continued to cover her arbitrage accounts, "greatly reducing her ability to attain high-revenue figures" for the desk.

The suit details other complaints, including a smaller bonus compared with those given to her male peers, reduced duties to a "vague and undefined marketing role" with "no clear career trajectory and absolutely zero visibility."

Voelker said her employer retracted its demotion and "retroactively claimed" she had the option to stay in her previous role after her attorney sent the bank a letter.

She is suing Deutsche Bank for unlawful and discriminatory conduct in violation of the Equal Pay Act and is seeking an award of monetary damages and attorneys' fees. As an eligible employee under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the bank's maternity leave policy, she said she was entitled to 16 weeks of protected leave, without having her role at risk upon her return.

The suit claims the bank's "unlawful and discriminatory actions constitute malicious, willful and wanton violations" of the New York City Human Rights Law.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep022011

Report: US to Sue More Than a Dozen Big Banks over Mortgage Securities

US Government(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which overseas mortgage firms Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, is reportedly planning to file lawsuits against more than a dozen big banks, claiming they misrepresented the quality of mortgage securities they built and sold to investors before the housing market collapsed.

Citing three people familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank will be among the banks targeted.

In the lawsuit, the agency will contend that these banks didn't meet the due diligence required under securities law and that they failed to notice evidence that borrowers' incomes were inflated or falsified, according to the Times.

The newspaper says the case could be filed by Friday, if not, then by Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May042011

US Government Suing Deutsche Bank for Mortgage Fraud

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank on Tuesday, accusing the German-based bank of mortgage fraud.

According to the lawsuit, the bank repeatedly misrepresented the quality of its home loans in order to collect money from a government mortgage insurance program.

"This lawsuit sends them and other lenders the message that they cannot get away with lies and recklessness," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who filed the civil lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan.  "They cannot casually assign the prospect of being caught to the cost of doing business."

The federal government now wants Deutsche Bank to pay back the money it had to pay in insurance claims when homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments.  The total amount in damages could surpass $1 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan182011

Deutsche Bank Gambles on Vegas' Newest Hotel and Casino

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The hottest party in Las Vegas this New Year's Eve was not at any of the monster casinos people know so well. In fact, it had nothing to do with magicians or show girls.

Instead, Jay-Z and Coldplay headlined a concert that included performances by Beyonce, John Mayer, and Kanye West at a hotel start-up on Vegas' Strip. The property had no history and no customer base, and many thought it had no chance of ever opening. But against all odds, The Cosmopolitan is the talk of Sin City these days, for reasons that go far beyond its curious ad campaign, which includes a bellboy with no pants.

"My mom called me and she said, 'I saw that commercial and I don't know what it meant, but I kind of liked it,'" said John Unwin, the CEO of The Cosmopolitan. "We've had good response...it's got a pants-less bellboy and it's got puppies."

Unwin is the leading man in a story that symbolizes America's boom-and-bust era like few others.

Six years ago a developer named Ian Bruce Eichner had plans for a $3.9 billion monstrosity with 28-foot-robots playing guitars and a tower of expensive condos. But when he defaulted on his loans, Deutsche Bank became the sudden owners of the unfinished hotel-casino, and the first bank to own a hotel on the Vegas Strip.

After finding no buyers, the German bank bought out The Cosmopolitan itself for $4 billion. It lured Unwin away from Caesar's Palace, where he was working as the general manager, and finished the place with an entirely new concept.

Vegas is still limping back from a horrible slump, with too many rooms and not enough guests. If The Cosmopolitan somehow manages to draw more gamblers than its bigger neighbor, the Bellagio, it would take 15 years for Deutsche Bank to break even.

Architect David Rockwell had to take a relatively small nine-acre space and build upwards to design the lavish Cosmopolitan. His best known work includes the home of the Academy Awards, the ultra-hip Nobu restaurants and even experimental playgrounds. But he had never designed a casino until now. Now the hotel is one of the most posh places in Vegas, with a lobby that seems to be more like a post-modern art gallery than just a place to check in. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio