- Former FX sales director loses Paris lawsuit against lender
- Tutenuit says bank has ruined his reputation with allegations
A former sales director at Bank of America Corp. lost a French employment lawsuit against the lender in a dispute over whether he lied about the fact he was fired by his previous employer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Adrien Tutenuit, who worked in FX sales, was seeking nearly half a million euros in the wrongful dismissal lawsuit, which was rejected by the Paris Employment Tribunal, according to the full written ruling in the case released by the court this week.
Tutenuit’s troubles at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Capital Markets unit in France started when he negotiated a signing bonus that the bank believed was designed to make up for deferred compensation he lost when he left JPMorgan. Merrill later discovered that Tutenuit, who had a base salary of more than 200,000 euros a year, had been fired and was still receiving some payments from JPMorgan, according to the lawsuit.
“During our interview on July 2, 2013, you admitted having voluntarily hidden the reasons for your departure and the fact that you were still owed this deferred compensation,” Bank of America wrote in a letter dismissing Tutenuit, according to the ruling. “This situation of cover up and lying isn’t acceptable given your responsibilities and your seniority.”
Tutenuit, 36, said in an interview that he was let go by JPMorgan in a round of layoffs after he was recruited by Merrill to start a new business segment.
"Merrill Lynch considers that I lied when I said nothing" about being fired by
JPMorgan, he says. "When I signed my contract with Merrill Lynch I had no idea
I would be fired. That’s why I didn’t say anything because it wasn’t relevant
He said that the bank was looking for a reason “to get rid of me” when the new business didn’t take off at Merrill the way it had at JPMorgan.
The court sided with the bank’s version of events, saying that the dismissal was based on “a genuine and serious cause that is attributable” to Tutenuit and materially verifiable.
Bank of America declined to comment on the lawsuit.
While Tutenuit lost most of his requests for damages that totaled 474,000 euros, he was awarded about 7,100 euros that the court said he was owed for paternity leave during his notice period.
He will appeal the ruling, but Tutenuit said that the process has taken its toll. He was out of work for two years and now makes a fraction of what he did in the finance industry.
"They completely destroyed my banking career. It’s over now,” he said. “They’ve tarnished my reputation in the industry by telling everyone I was a liar and not worthy of trust."