(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc was sued by an ex-banker alleging harassment and discrimination exacerbated her mental health issues causing panic attacks and stress, eventually pushing her to quit the bank.
Khilna Morjaria, an ex-vice president at Barclays Execution Services Ltd., is seeking more than £250,000 ($311,210) alleging the bank not only failed in its assurance to support employee mental health but also victimized her. Barclays reduced her pay to zero after she went on a sick leave on a doctor’s recommendation, she said in the documents prepared for trial at a London employment tribunal. Her pay was later partially restored.
After she raised a complaint when her salary was slashed, the grievance process was slowed down to pressurize her to resign, she alleged. “I felt I was being forced out of the company,” she said. In her seven years at the bank Morjaria worked in the tax and risk teams and was a governance manager when she resigned in 2021.
Lawyers for Barclays denied all the allegations. Morjaria failed to list any unlawful treatment to support her claims that the bank harassed or discriminated against her, they said in court filings. A spokesperson for Barclays declined to comment further.
Morjaria is using UK workplace equality laws, which include mental impairment as a disability, to prove discrimination. Winnings at employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal are now capped at just over £105,700. But damages are unlimited if discrimination is proved.
Morjaria’s episodes of depression and anxiety resurfaced after her manager scuttled her promotion and took credit for her work, she alleged. On her return to work after a sick leave, she was expected to attend meetings and work with the line manager who’s actions aggravated her mental illness. “I became very frightened of meeting him face to face,” she said.
Morjaria said she twice attempted to take her own life during the period before she resigned in February 2021.
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