Citigroup Inc. has won part of its appeal in a discrimination suit brought by a former banker who was laid off after being called “old” at the age of 55.
(Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. has won part of its appeal in a discrimination suit brought by a former banker who was laid off after being called “old” at the age of 55.
Niels Kirk, a managing director for Citi’s energy banking desk, previously won his unfair dismissal suit against the bank in 2020 and was awarded nearly £2.7 million ($3.2 million.) But an appeal court ordered the case to be reheard, saying that the employment tribunal needed to reconsider whether the redundancy was prompted by ageism given a relatively small age gap between Kirk and a 51-year-old colleague.
Kirk, who’d been employed at the bank for 26 years, was awarded the multimillion pound payout after the judge ruled he wasn’t given any warning about a proposed restructuring. Kirk’s lawyers argued he had been the victim of ageist comments including when one of his bosses Manolo Falco told him he was “too old and set in his ways.”
Ex-Citi Banker Wins U.K. Age Case After Boss Called Him ‘Old’
Lawyers for Citi appealed the decision at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. They argued that Kirk could not have been discriminated against based on age because the ensuing restructuring put a female colleague who was age 51, only a few years younger than him, at the head of the department.
The appeal judges ruled that the the lower tribunal had not given due consideration to Citi’s evidence of the comparison between Kirk and his colleague’s age, according to a judgment made public Tuesday.
A spokesperson from Citi said it was “gratified” with the decision and it “overturns the tribunal’s decision that the termination of Mr. Kirk was discriminatory on the grounds of age.”
While at the lender, Kirk earned £937,000 a year in 2014, which later fell to £535,000 pounds in 2016, according to court documents.
Leigh Day, the law firm representing Kirk, declined to comment.