Woman wins £15m in sex discrimination case against bank

A New York jury has awarded a banker £15m for sex discrimination after a male colleague told her she was too “old and ugly and she can’t do the job”.

A jury in Manhattan said Laura Zubulake, 44, should receive £4.8m in compensation and a further £10.7m in punitive damages from Europe’s largest bank, UBS Warburg.

She lost her $370,000-a-year job in 2001 with the bank claiming she “had performance problems” and was not a team player. Her boss, Matthew Chapin, said she was “highly disobedient and confrontational”.

Zubalake said she had been excluded from company events with clients, such as golf and baseball, and was sacked because she complained to US employment regulators.

She said she hoped the verdict would send a message to women on Wall Street to stand up for their rights and for what they believe.

The bank has said it will appeal against the sum awarded and added that UBS was committed to its diversity efforts and would “continue to ensure that it has an open and diverse work environment”.

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