February 6, 2018 / 8:15 PM / a year ago

Lawsuit claiming Citigroup ran 'boys club' dismissed by U.S. judge

NEW YORK, (Reuters) - A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by a fired Citigroup Inc (C.N) financial adviser who said the bank’s “culture of gender discrimination” made it clear that “the boys were in charge.”

The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said most of Erin Daly’s claims over the alleged bias and harassment she faced in her seven years at the New York-based bank did not belong in federal court because she had agreed to arbitrate them.

He also said Daly waited too long to accuse Citigroup of firing her in retaliation for reporting her boss’s alleged violations of rules to prevent insider trading, by demanding nonpublic details about stock offerings that he wanted to pass to favored clients.

Michelle Daly, a lawyer for the plaintiff, had no immediate comment. Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos declined to comment.

The lawsuit is one of many over the years accusing U.S. banks of favoring male bankers, traders and financial advisers over their female counterparts, and permitting improper conduct.

Erin Daly claimed that Citigroup stripped her of client contact and responsibilities because of her gender, in an effort to reduce her to a “glorified secretary” because its “boys’ club” policies dictated that “the men were doing business.”

Sullivan agreed with Citigroup that Daly’s whistleblower claim under the federal Sarbanes-Oxley governance law was stale because Daly brought it two years after her December 2014 dismissal, missing a 180-day deadline.

He also said Citigroup’s having allegedly alerted a U.S. brokerage regulator, the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), about shortcomings in Daly’s work did not create a “continuing violation” that meant the 180-day limit had not run.

The plaintiff, a resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, had sought double back pay, unpaid bonuses and punitive damages.

The case is Daly v. Citigroup Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-09183.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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