Maureen Murphy and Anna Francis both sued Normura last fall for allegedly firing them because they were female and not Japanese.According to Reuters, they each sought $2.3 million from the bank for hurt feelings and to compensate them for lost earnings.
Nomura, the women claimed, is “institutionally racist and sexist.”
In her file, Murphy says that a Nomura trader made a comment that “women belonged at home cleaning floors.” She also says she had to deal with a client who called a female banker’s breasts “honkers”.
These statements are mild compared to the statements allegedly aimed at Citigroup’s former employee, Dorly Hazan-Amir, who recently sued the bank on similar grounds of sexual discrimination.
We don’t have any legal basis to compare the two cases, but it’s hard not to. Both women claim that while they were at work, men berated their sexuality and they say they remember specific statements that are pretty ridiculous and sexist.
Here’s what we think. Ideally, the men wouldn’t have said anything or the women would have just quipped back. It’s hard to imagine that a someone would lose a sexual harassment case after he or she repeatedly stood up for themself just to have a co-worker continue to make derogatory comments. If you don’t give someone a heads up that a comment pisses you off (we haven’t read their cases, we’re just saying), it’s not only the commenter’s fault that you have to hear it again.
So today, the judge gave Murphy and Francis a bit of tough love. She threw out their cases, saying “[Francis] has not proved facts from which we could infer that had she been a man or Japanese or both that she would have been treated more favourably.”
This seems like a good solution. It should send a message to anyone considering a sexual discrimination suit (we’ve been reading a lot lately): Be able to prove you were an unwilling victim or don’t bother suing.