Muslim woman manager sues UK bank for sex, race discrimination

January 3rd, 2009 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 3 (ANI): A Muslim woman bank manager has claimed that her bosses accused her of having sex with a client, and suggested that cleaning was womens work. She has launched a sex discrimination claim against Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) for up to one million pounds.

Mona Awad, a married 29-year-old corporate manager at the company, has accused the bank and two former senior male bosses of sex, race and religious discrimination.

Mona, a corporate bank manager at HBOS plc in Nottingham, alleged that she became a victim of bullying, sexist and racist behaviour after starting work at the bank in April 2007, The Telegraph reports.

Mona, who was born in Egypt, has now launched a claim before an employment tribunal in which she accuses them of numerous cases of sexual discrimination, including humiliating her in front of her peers by asking whether I was s******g an employee of our customer.

She alleged that one of the former directors at the firms offices in Nottingham lifted up her trouser leg in front of other staff, to demonstrate what he would view as being indecent, and made comments about a colleague wanting to sit on her lap.

She further accused one of the former bosses of asking her if she could handle two men, suggesting that a colleague had been watching her in her bikini when on holiday and micro-managing her to the point that he would search for her in the Ladies toilets.

It was a sexist culture in which staff were afraid to speak out, she claimed.

Awad is complaining against one of the former bosses for his alleged treatment of her during the festival of Ramadan in 2007. She claimed that her request for flexible hours was ignored and that she was repeatedly told that it was ridiculous that she was unable to eat during the fasting period.

At the same time she alleged that the former manager said, he did not wish to work with Asians - and said he assumed because she was Muslim she must be an Asian.

Awad is suing HBOS because she claims that the bank had offered “no protection against the bullying and harassment” by their staff.

The bank instigated disciplinary proceedings against the former directors, however, which upheld some of her complaints.

It is just a boys club. Neither director was sacked. I pity any woman that they work with in the future, she said.

The former directors will give evidence at a hearing on Wednesday and deny all her claims and liability. A main tribunal will take place later in 2009. (ANI)

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