Former investment banker wins age discrimination case against Citigroup Inc.

Mr Niels Kirk, a former investment banker at Citibank, was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on the grounds of age when his employment was terminated in November 2017.

Mr Kirk, who was employed as a Managing Director for the energy bank and had been an employee of the company for 26 years, was made redundant at a meeting with no prior warning in November 2017. During the meeting, Mr Kirk was told that he was “too old and set in your ways” before his employment was abruptly terminated.

Mr Kirk had not been consulted about potential redundancies and had not been given any warning about proposed restructuring in his department when he was asked to attend the meeting. Outraged by the decision, he subsequently made a claim to the Employment Tribunal for £9.7million.

The claim was heard by Employment Judge Goodrich in the Central London Employment Tribunal who found that Mr Kirk had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on the grounds of age. Employment Judge Goodrich said that “it was humiliating and insulting for the Claimant to be told that he was old and set in his ways” and that the remark was “unwanted conduct”. Mr Falco of Citibank denied telling Mr Kirk that he was too old and went as far as to say that “grey hair is very important in this industry”. Judge Goodrich ruled against him.

A further hearing has been listed to determine the level of compensation that will be awarded to Mr Kirk. The amount of compensation that can be awarded for a successful discrimination claims is limitless.

Citibank has said that it will appeal against the decision, pointing out that the age gap between Mr Kirk and his replacement was only 4 years and that 15 of 51 of the Managing Directors in their European corporate banking unit are over 50.

If you are considering making redundancies, it is fundamentally important that you follow the correct procedure and ensure that a proper period of consultation takes place with the affected employees. At MLP Law, our team of experts are able to take you through the process and guarantee a service that is specifically tailored towards meeting your needs.

If you have any questions as an employer in relation to unfair dismissal, age discrimination or the redundancy process or if you are an employee who thinks that you might have been unfairly dismissed on the basis of age discrimination, then please contact our Employment Team on 0161 926 1508, or follow our employment law-specific Twitter account @HRHeroUK.