Earlier this week, we learned that two HSBC employees had sued the bank, claiming that they had been demoted and had their bonuses cut by more than 60 percent after reporting a superior's conduct-- which allegedly included strongly encouraging an underling to have sex with various male employees, attempting to pull her top down in public, and so on and so forth. Then on Tuesday, the firm scored a rare trifecta when a third employee filed suit against it, claiming that he'd been fired for complaining about a colleague touching him in places no one wants to be touched by their colleagues, and also requesting favors of the sexual variety.
Michael Preston, a former HSBC global banking due diligence analyst, said in the complaint that he was verbally and physically harassed by a male colleague and then fired after informing his superiors. The suit comes as HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, faces two other suits in Manhattan court claiming it retaliated against employees who reported that a now-fired executive was sexually harassing a female subordinate — including by allegedly pressuring the subordinate to have sex with bank clients. In Tuesday’s suit, Preston claims that a fellow due diligence analyst who sat next to him, Christopher France, repeatedly made “explicit requests for sexual favors.” The suit also accuses France of “physically touching and fondling Mr. Preston in a sexual manner on the arms, legs, buttocks and neck.” When Preston told a supervisor, Susan Lewis, about France’s alleged conduct, Lewis became “visibly annoyed” and said there was "no time to talk about it,” the suit alleges.
The day after that discussion, France again attempted to inappropriately touch Preston, prompting Preston to push him away, the suit claims. About a week later, an HSBC human resources employee abruptly told Preston that he was being fired, purportedly as a result of “striking” France, the complaint says.
Think they'll go for four? We'll just have to wait and see what next week holds!