Page last updated at 20:34 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Female broker 'prostitutes' claim

City of London skyline
The complaint arose out of city brokerage CA Cheuvreux

A sales boss at a City of London financial firm compared his female staff to a "team of prostitutes", an employment tribunal heard.

Saleswoman Rosemarie Corscadden alleged her boss at equity brokerage CA Cheuvreux propositioned her and denied her promotion when she refused him.

Ms Corscadden, 51, said she was bullied and harassed by Jerry Lees within six months of joining on an 80,000 salary.

Mr Lees had denied derogatory comments, the ongoing tribunal heard.

In a written account of her grievance, Ms Corscadden said Mr Lees, the head of a sales team at the company, proposed a sexual relationship in return for financial rewards.

'Great money'

He stated that I would become very successful and earn great money if I agreed to this
Rosemarie Corscadden
Recalling a business trip to Amsterdam in 2005, Ms Corscadden claimed: "Mr Lees told me that he was not looking for a one-night stand but that he would help me with my business if we had 'great sex' when we travelled on business.

"He stated that I would become very successful and earn great money if I agreed to this."

She also alleges that Mr Lees told a trade journalist in a meeting that she attended that he "sometimes felt as though he was 'running a brothel' and a 'team of prostitutes'".

During an internal grievance investigation, Mr Lees denied these comments, instead saying he may have referred to brokers as "whores of the industry", she said.

Ms Corscadden, who is scheduled to give evidence at the tribunal on Tuesday, said she believed other female colleagues had also been propositioned and some had conducted relationships with Mr Lees.

A spokeswoman for CA Cheuvreux said the firm was aware of the tribunal and that it was inappropriate to comment.

"The company sees equality and dignity in the workplace as the bedrock of good working practices at all levels. The company is aware of the suit that has been brought in London," she said.



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