According to lawsuits by two of her former subordinates, during her time as a senior vice-president and head of business development for North America, Eileen Hedges told another one of her subordinates, 27 year-old "Jane Doe," to:
- Dress provocatively on the job
- "...have sex with male HSBC executives and clients at company-sponsored events"
- Specifically, "have sex with an unnamed senior executive at the bank’s Mexico unit"
The boss of the year also allegedly:
- "...falsely told co-workers that Doe was having sex with clients when they traveled to bank functions outside the U.S."
- "...told Doe about her own alleged extramarital affairs with HSBC executives."1
- "... attempted to pull down Doe’s blouse and expose her breasts in the presence of male HSBC employees."
And the reason we now know all this is because, naturally, the subordinates who filed the lawsuits were (supposedly!) retaliated against by Hedges after complaining that her demeanor on the job was slightly less than professional.
The previously unreported suits, filed June 20 and Aug. 14, claim that Eileen Hedges, formerly the senior vice president and head of business development for the bank’s North American unit, repeatedly harassed an unnamed 27-year-old subordinate referred to as Jane Doe. The complaints say Hedges inappropriately touched Doe, encouraged her to dress provocatively and pressured her to have sex with male HSBC executives and clients at company-sponsored events. The retaliation claims were filed by Michael Picarella, a current HSBC employee who was supervised by Hedges, and James Rist, a former employee who says he dated Doe and personally witnessed some of the alleged harassment. Picarella says he was effectively demoted after reporting Hedges’ conduct to bank officials, while Rist claims his yearly bonus was cut by more than 60 percent. HSBC said in a Sept. 12 court filing that it had fired Hedges following an investigation, though the bank denied engaging in retaliation. During a brief hearing in Manhattan federal court Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter said he was “extremely unlikely” to dismiss the litigation at the current stage, and encouraged the parties to engage in settlement discussions.
1. Was the point of this to be, like, "Don't worry about it, everyone does it"??↩