BANKING & FINANCE

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Former Sanwa Employee Files Sex Discrimination Suit: Janice Harmeier, a former vice president and market strategist at Sanwa Securities Co. in New York, the U.S. brokerage arm of Sanwa Bank of Japan, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York. Harmeier alleges that she was denied equal pay and that the company knowingly created an atmosphere of open, widespread sexual discrimination. She seeks damages of more than $4 million. Sanwa officials were not immediately available for comment. The suit alleges that one manager said he would never hire a female salesperson because such an employee would become pregnant and leave once she received company training and that a branch office executive said he was performing his "professional duty" in taking a female customer home to have sex.

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