Jeff Pegues reports for Eyewitness News (ABC): NEW YORK (WABC) — Debrahlee Lorenzana, 33, says she’s just a regular woman. But at 5’6″ and 125 pounds she definitely has movie star looks and that’s what she says got her fired from a $70,000 a year job at Citibank.
“In their exact words? Too distracting,” Lorenzana said.
Those are the words she says her bosses used to describe her. She claims that numerous times over a year long period two years ago her superiors at a Citibank Branch in the Chrysler Building would regularly demean her and discriminate against her.
She alleges the focus wasn’t on her job but on what she was wearing.
“Turtlenecks and pencil skirts, too distracting? Maybe she should wear a burqua?” Lorenzana wondered. Lorenzana’s attorney says it’s pretty obvious what the problem was. And that’s why they’ve filed a lawsuit.
“They didn’t want to have to see a body like this,” attorney Jack Tuckner said.
But Citibank officials have responded with this statement: “We believe this lawsuit is without merit. Citi is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and providing a respectful environment in the workplace.”
The company acknowledges that they encourage employees to dress a certain way. But Lorenzana says she dressed like other Citibank employees.
“They just said my body shape and theirs was different and mine was too distracting,” Lorenzana said.