Claiming she’s tarnishing the financial industry’s reputation, ex-Citibanker Debrahlee Lorenzana’s current employer, JPMorgan Chase, now threatens to fire her for speaking to the press, the Voice learned today.
Debrahlee Lorenzana is the sexy former Citibanker whose story we broke on the cover of the Voice this week. She claims in a lawsuit that Citibank fired her for distracting men in her office with her naturally good looks. Now, Lorenzana says she’s received orders from her current employer, JPMorgan Chase, to stop speaking to the media about her Citi lawsuit. JPMorgan Chase has threatened to fire her if she continues to speak out.
Until now, Lorenzana had been mum about where she currently works — except to say that she’s employed at another bank — and has not said anything about how her current employer is responding to her going public with her lawsuit against Citi. (The Voice had honored her request not to name her current employer.)
But now, according to Lorenzana and to her lawyer Jack Tuckner, she is on the verge of losing her job at the Chase branch in Brooklyn where she currently works.
This time, it’s not because of the way she dresses. According to Lorenzana: On Thursday, her manager called her into his office and informed her that if she kept talking to the press, she was putting herself in serious risk of losing her job. The manager said she had violated an employee code of conduct that prohibits employees from bashing the financial industry as a whole. They gave her a copy of the code of conduct in writing.
“They said I was damaging the reputation of the entire industry,” Lorenzana tells the Voice.
At the end of the conversation, Lorenzana says she was told: “Why don’t you take a breather and let us know whether you are going to continue talking to the media?” She went back to work. A few hours later, she says, “I told them I was going to proceed.” Tomorrow she is slated to appear on Good Morning America — a direct violation of her orders from Chase.
Here’s the code of conduct she’s talking about: “The concept of relating to JPMorgan Chase businesses is broadly defined and generally includes anything related to the financial services industry, the firm itself, and its businesses.”
Tuckner says that he immediately contacted Heather Mitchell, corporate counsel for JPMorgan Chase. Mitchell, Tuckner says, confirmed that Lorenzana had breached the code of conduct by speaking to the press. Even if she ceased all media interviews immediately, she would continue to be in serious risk of termination. (Mitchell did not respond this afternoon to the Voice‘s e-mail request for an interview).
“She’s making this industry look bad when we have Goldman Sachs selling exotic derivatives and cheating their clients behind their backs?” Tuckner says. “These are the ‘banksters’ of the world. Why they are so tone deaf is really unfathomable.”
Under city law, it is illegal to fire someone who has spoken up about an illegal practice.
Lorenzana, for her part, says she is walking on eggshells, but will continue to show up to work until she is fired. “I will report to work every single day, until they say, you’re fired.”
Meanwhile, she’ll keep busy. She only has a Facebook inbox filled with three thousand friend requests to respond to.