Los Angeles, California, March 10, 2022 – On behalf of their client, Vanessa Carney, Girard Bengali, APC of Los Angeles, and Singer Deutsch LLP of New York City filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, in California Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Carney was discriminated against on the basis of her gender in both promotion and compensation practices.
Ms. Carney, a 22-year veteran of the financial services industry with an MBA from UCLA as well as a CFA credential, alleges she was transferred out of her role in Wells Fargo Securities’ Asset Backed Finance Sales Group in January 2022 as retaliation for complaints about a discriminatory workplace environment.
Despite glowing performance reviews and direct contributions to the Asset Backed Finance Group’s P&L, Ms. Carney had not received a promotion since 2009 and her base salary remained unchanged between 2010 and her forced departure from the group in 2022. During that time, more than 30 men were promoted ahead of her, including some with far less experience. Based on the compensation levels of male employees who are approximately the same age as Ms. Carney and had a similar career trajectory, the compensation she has been denied is in excess of $1,000,000 per year.
The lawsuit alleges that not only was Vanessa Carney discriminated against on the basis of gender, but that Wells Fargo Securities allowed a pervasive “Boys’ Club” mentality to thrive. The suit also alleges that the Human Resources Department was complicit in these discriminatory activities by way of offering no meaningful protection whatsoever to Ms. Carney, and that “overt sexism, racism and prejudice from the very top of the food chain has permeated, and continues to permeate, all levels of Wells Fargo.”
“What does it say about Wall Street and Wells Fargo in particular, that a 17-year, well-regarded and supposedly valued employee hasn’t received a raise or promotion for a decade and that even in her current role, she is being paid several hundred thousand dollars less than her male co-workers?” Asked Omar Bengali, partner at Girard Bengali APC.
“With Vanessa being brave enough to speak up, refusing to accept Wells Fargo’s antiquated attitudes and mores, and by filing this action, we hope that Wells Fargo will finally take meaningful steps to address its egregious corporate culture and stop turning a blind eye to gender-based discrimination in the workplace.”
The lawsuit alleges causes of action against Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, for Gender Discrimination and Disparate Treatment, Failure to Pay Equal Wages, Retaliation, Failure to Prevent Discrimination, Intentional Discrimination, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. It seeks monetary damages, injunctive relief, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.