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Bank of America sued by former trader for bonus payout

Trader claims the bank dismissed her shortly before bonus payment despite exceptional performance

Financial industry traders generally expect big bonuses for their work as the bread-winners of their firms. With earnings directly tied to the profits generated, those bonuses can reach colossal proportions. And when traders are snubbed, litigiousness can become almost as large.

Indonesian trader Sunny Tadjudin is seeking considerable damages from her former employer, Bank of America, which she alleges canned her in 2007 just before bonus payout in an effort to save money.  Tadjudin is suing in a Hong Kong High Court for $3.7 million. That figure is based on the average trader payout of 16.6 percent, which she received from 2002-2004. A separate sexual discrimination claim has also been filed against the BofA.

Tadjudin’s attorney Graham Harris claims that her payout percentage dipped between 2005 and 2006 due to misleading performance reviews.  The filings also claim that Tadjudin was responsible for 76 percent of her groups $28.6 million in trading profits during the 30-month period in which she was fired. The filings argue that Tadjudin is entitled to her bonus from 2007 as a result of this performance.

BofA says that Tadjudin’s termination was not arbitrary and that it let her go due to failing performance and issues with communication.  The bank’s lawyer says that the seperate sexual discrimination filing was submitted to pressure the bank in this case, and should be discounted when discussing the matter at hand.

“These are inflammatory issues whose purpose is to embarrass the bank and pressure us to pay her off, which we’re not going to do,” Huggins said.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tadjudin, who won the right to sue in 2010, alleges that the entire incident, including her lowered evaluations and eventual termination, was engineered by her former manager John Liptak. Liptak is expected to testify in the case, but has yet to release a statement addressing these allegations.

 

For more on the legal climate of finance check out this Inside Counsel coverage:

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Managing Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content for...

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