A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ruling has determined that Citigroup violated Florida state law on age discrimination when it fired Edward Laurence Bowne, Reuters reported. The bank must pay Bowne a $500,000 fine.Bowne had worked as a branch manager for Citigroup Global Markets brokerage from 1997 until 2008, when he claimed that he was fired while on leave when his sister died. He was 66 at the time.
The lawsuit describes how the discrimination began when Citigroup hired a young regional manager to oversee branch managers in 2004.
Bowne’s manager made frequent remarks about age, according to the document. For example, he said that Bowne was “getting kind of long in the tooth” for the job, and “When you reach your age, you should think of retirement and not working,” Bowne alleged.
The manager then engaged in a series of actions against Bowne. They included giving him a “final warning” for alleged employee complaints that Bowne said were unfounded, and reducing his bonus by 3 per cent as a penalty for an alleged customer complaint, according to the document.