Wells Fargo faces federal job discrimination lawsuit

Jon Campisi Aug. 22, 2011, 9:28am

A former financial specialist for Wells Fargo Bank who contends she was fired from her job because her direct superior had discriminatory attitudes toward woman is suing the financial institution in federal court.

Attorneys Timothy M. Kolman, Wayne A. Ely, Eman Abouelseoud and Lalena J. Turchi, of the Penndel, Pa. law firm Kolman Ely, P.C., filed the job discrimination lawsuit Aug. 18 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Frances Dickerson of Alloway, N.J.

The defendant listed in the complaint is the Wells Fargo Bank at 123 Broad St. in Philadelphia.

The lawsuit states that Dickerson, who began working for the defendant in July 2007, was fired from her job in September 2010 after experiencing constant discrimination by a former superior.

The man, identified in the lawsuit as Raheem Stevenson, “began to show discriminatory animus towards Plaintiff and was berating and threatening Plaintiff on a routine basis,” almost immediately after he became Dickerson’s supervisor, the lawsuit claims.

Dickerson did report the behavior to the company’s human resource department, but the discrimination continued, the suit states.

“Mr. Stevenson’s negative, demeaning and threatening behavior was only ever directed to female employees,” the lawsuit states.

Dickerson developed stress and anxiety because of her alleged treatment, the suit claims, and in July 2009 she took a medical leave of absence.

She was ordered to remain on leave until Jan. 25, 2010.

While she was on leave, Dickerson was informed in early January of that year that Stevenson was terminating her employment, the suit states. Dickerson, however appealed to the human resource department, who ruled that her termination was without merit. She was then reinstated.

However, when she returned to work, Dickerson still experienced discriminatory treatment on the part of Stevenson, the lawsuit claims. She even received “bogus write-ups” concerning her job performance, and was eventually terminated again, this time for supposed performance-related reasons, the suit states.

Dickerson claims through the lawsuit that her federal civil rights were violated. She alleges gender discrimination, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and seeks to have the defendant cease its alleged discriminatory behavior.

Dickerson also seeks back pay, front pay, lost wages and benefits, pension and other job-related compensation. She also seeks unspecified punitive damages and the costs related to the court action.

No jury trial has been sought; arbitration has been scheduled.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05278-ER.

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