Bank Subjected Women to Wage Discrimination and a Sexually Hostile Environment, Then Fired Employee for Complaining, Agency Charges

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today that JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. violated federal law by subjecting female employees to wage discrimination, a sexually hostile environment and retaliation at its Polaris Park facility in Columbus, Ohio.

According to the EEOC's suit (Case No. 1:09-cv-00711), filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the EEOC charges that since April 2007, shortly after Aimee Doneyhue was hired, she noticed that women were subjected to terms and conditions of employment which negatively impacted their compensation, including their ability to earn commissions and bonuses. Additionally, the EEOC says, women were subjected to verbal sexual harassment. Finally, the EEOC says that Chase Bank fired Doneyhue for complaining about the foregoing practices.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin, race, color, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or religion and protects employees who complain about or oppose such discrimination from retaliation.

The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC seeks to eliminate these discriminatory practices and have JPMorgan Chase Bank compensate the victim for her monetary losses and to provide equal opportunities to female employees.

"It is disturbing that women still face the barriers and stereotypes they faced more than 40 years ago when Title VII was enacted," said Debra Lawrence, acting regional attorney of the EEOC's Philadelphia District. "JPMorgan Chase Bank is a leader in its industry; it's too bad it's not a leader in best business practices for equal employment opportunity."

According to company information, JPMorgan Chase Bank is engaged in the business of providing financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking and is one of the industry's leading providers of home mortgages and home equity loans. It employs more than 500 persons.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at