Female Exec at BoA Sues, Alleges 'Bro's Club', Lies, Butt-Kissing

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on May 20, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A high ranking female executive at one of the nation's biggest banks brought a wallop of a suit against her employer recently, alleging, among other things, a "subordinate 'bro's club' of all-male sycophants."

It's a damning set of allegations against a professional industry that has already lost a lot of its balance amidst frequent allegations of sex-related pay imbalances.

"Egregious Pay Disparity"

Megan Messina, a high ranking and skilled managing director at Bank of America filed a lawsuit earlier this week accusing her employer of condoning sexism by her boss, bias and "egregious pay disparity." The details in her lengthy complaint go into the nooks and crannies of a culture that allowed her to be lorded over by her immediate boss who encouraged a cohort of "subordinate 'bro's club' of all-male sycophants."

Messina's complaint also alleged that the bank knowingly cooked the books and violated Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections when it retaliated against her for blowing the lid on bank conduct that looked to be harming clients.

And then there's the pay disparity. The $10 million disparity. Messina alleges that a fellow, male co-chief was paid $17 million for his work from 2013-2015. Messina received a paltry $7.25 million.

Messina prayed for $6 million to make up a pay disparity and wants punitive damages as well as monies for her mental and emotional distress.

In-House "Boys Club" Panic?

If you hold the position of in-house counsel for a company where the culture is distinctly chauvinistic, you may be forced to engage in a hard talk with officers and the board. The "Mad Men" era of sexism is not only out of fashion in polite professional company, it can also cost the company dearly in terms of money, time, and reputation. GC and other in-house lawyers must formulate a damage control plan in order to mitigate against possible exposure. At the very least, a frank suggestion to drop sexism in conversation is well in order.

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