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Jewelry Company Sues Bank for Gender Discrimination

September 18th, 2019
office meeting

Alex and Ani, a charm bracelet company based in Rhode Island, is suing Bank of America for $1.1 billion due to gender discrimination. The founder of Alex and Ani alleged that Bank of America violated federal laws by discriminating against the company, which is led by women.

Bank of America serves as the administrative agent for the group of seven banks that provide loans to Alex and Ani. According to the lawsuit, Bank of America’s gender bias and greed threatened Alex and Ani’s business. In December 2018, Bank of America falsely claimed that Alex and Ani defaulted on its loan of $170 million. According to Bank of America, Alex and Ani defaulted on their loan more than once, but the defaults were waived, and the agreement was amended.

Lawsuit Claimed Bank of America Wants Women Out of Power

The lawsuit claimed that Bank of America has been forcing Alex and Ani toward bankruptcy for the last six months to drive the women out of power. Alex and Ani claimed that among a few other requirements, Bank of America also required them to hire and pay for a male chief restructuring officer (CFO), costing the company over $1 billion in expenses.

Between January 2016 and December 2017, the relationship between Alex and Ani and Bank of America was amicable because during that time, the CFO of Alex and Ani was a male, according to the lawsuit. After a 26-year-old woman became CFO at the end of 2017, the company claimed that their relationship with Bank of America took a bad turn. During a 2019 meeting between Alex and Ani’s female leadership team and Bank of America’s all male team, the bankers allegedly smirked at the women and interrupted the female CFO while she spoke, in addition to asking her to complete secretarial work.

A spokesperson for Bank of America stated that the allegations of gender discrimination were not true. He went on to say that they have worked closely with Alex and Ani during their financial struggle. However, Alex and Ani’s lawyer disagreed, claiming that Bank of America treated Alex and Ani executives differently because they were women.

Alex and Ani’s Financial Struggles

Alex and Ani employs over 1,500 people and distributes through 100 of its own stores. However, the company has been struggling as of recent years. Forbes estimated that their sales dropped from $550 million in 2017 to $500 million in 2018. The founder’s net worth is now estimated to be around $450 million when it was estimated to be around $1 billion a year ago. It will likely continue to fall as sales continue to decline.

Philadelphia Gender Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Represent Clients Facing Gender Discrimination

If you or someone you know is facing gender discrimination in the workplace, contact a Philadelphia gender discrimination lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.

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