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Fired HSBC investment banker sues alleging anti-Jewish bias

NEW YORK – A former HSBC Holdings US investment banking associate is suing the bank claiming he faced discrimination over his Jewish faith and his desire to take parental leave, and that he was fired after he complained about his treatment. 

Mr Michael Krantz said the bank violated federal and state civil rights laws by reducing his hours and giving him less attractive assignments after he asked not to work over Jewish holidays.

In his complaint filed on Tuesday in New York federal court, Mr Krantz claimed he was fired in March after he asked to take a full 12 weeks of parental leave in anticipation of his child’s birth.

Representatives for HSBC did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment on the suit.

According to the suit, Mr Krantz joined HSBC as an analyst in August 2021 and was promoted to associate in March 2022.

Mr Krantz claims that despite “exemplary” performance he began to receive less work, reducing his bonus potential, after he requested in September 2021 not to be staffed on a project that would have required him to work during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 

At the end of 2021, Mr Krantz claims he was the only employee in his cohort not to be given one of his three top choices for group assignment.

According to the suit, HSBC “guaranteed” that employees would be given one of their top choices but treated Mr Krantz differently because of his religion.

Mr Krantz said HSBC ignored his request for Kosher food during a breakfast for newly promoted associates. The bank also allegedly held a March 2023 dinner event at a non-Kosher restaurant.

“As a result, plaintiff was required to get his own food at a restaurant that was a 15-minute walk away from the dinner location,” Mr Krantz said in his suit.

According to the suit, a manager told him at the March event that his desire to take 12 weeks of parental leave would be problematic. Mr Krantz said he complained about the pushback to HSBC human resources and was reassured that taking leave would not affect his standing at the bank.

Mr Krantz said he was told less than three weeks later he was being laid off. According to his suit, he was the only similarly situated associate subject to the layoff. 

HSBC was sued for discrimination in 2022 by Ms Monique Thacker, a woman of Indian descent who was hired as chief administrative officer for its US wealth management unit in 2013.

Ms Thacker claimed she was passed over for jobs in favour of White colleagues and faced retaliation from her superiors after flagging potential regulatory breaches. BLOOMBERG

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