The first homosexuality-based workplace discrimination case against a City firm will be heard by a tribunal later this week.
Sid Saeed, who was vice-president in Deutsche Bank’s global exchanges services, has filed a 16-page legal claim against the company alleging “sustained homophobia”, reports the Observer.
He alleges that he suffered mental problems as a result of being subjected to constant comments from colleagues that made his position with the financial giant untenable.
The claim, which the bank strenuously denies, will be made at an industrial tribunal hearing on Friday.
The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations came into force in December 2003. The laws aim to protect employees against direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion or belief.
Saeed, who joined Deutsche in 1997, was admitted to the Priory psychiatric hospital last year, suffering from severe depression, triggered, he said, by the sometimes daily verbal attacks on his sexuality by his senior managers.
Saeed, who never disclosed his sexuality to his managers, is set to produce a number of witnesses who, he claims, will corroborate his allegations.
According to Saeed’s legal challenge: “The applicant was subject to a slow but progressive withdrawal of his duties; there was a continued and repeated failure to promote him to a role in the front office, despite promises that this would be done; he was subject to further victimisation during his sick leave.”
Saeed’s is the first high-profile case in which a City star has alleged he has been discriminated against because of his homosexuality. It follows a series of cases brought by senior women bankers who allege they have been overlooked for promotion because of their gender.
A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank told the Observer: “Deutsche Bank is fully committed to diversity. We provide a supportive, open work environment. We strongly contest the proceedings being brought by Mr Saeed.”