Ex-Sberbank Employee Called ‘Cokehead’ Wins Harassment Suit
A former equity saleswoman at OAO Sberbank’s London unit won her sexual harassment lawsuit against the bank after male colleagues sent messages referring to her as “mad Svetlana” and “Ms. Cokehead.”
Svetlana Lokhova was subjected to harassment, victimization and unfairly fired, a U.K. employment tribunal ruled in an opinion dated Oct. 28. The three-judge panel didn’t decide how much compensation she should receive.
David Longmuir, Lokhova’s former manager at Sberbank CIB (UK) Ltd., sent e-mails and made remarks behind her back that were “offensive and derogatory, and often personal in nature,” the judges said. Longmuir told the tribunal in April that although he regretted the comments, she had insulted him too. He has since resigned from the bank.
Lokhova is the second woman to win a sexual discrimination lawsuit in London this month, reversing a recent run of losses for claimants at the city’s employment tribunals. Isabel Sitz, a former stock broker at Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (OPY)’s European unit, won her claim for unfair treatment after managers discussed cutting her salary to the U.K. legal minimum of 6.80 pounds ($10.85) an hour, then fired her.
Paul Marriott, a spokesman for Sberbank, said it was committed to equal opportunities. He said the tribunal had rejected 19 of the complaints made by Lokhova.
The tribunal judges didn’t accept a number of her claims including that she was put under surveillance by the bank, and that she was added to a list of underperformers because of the dispute with Longmuir.
The allegations stem from her second stint working at Sberbank’s U.K. unit in 2011, when she was earning an annual salary of 120,000 pounds, plus a guaranteed first bonus of $300,000. In January 2012, she went on leave because of stress, citing a hostile environment on the all-male equity sales desk, and never returned.
Lokhova’s spokesman, Neil McLeod, declined to immediately comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com