A veteran employee is suing Cigna (NYSE: CI), saying it systematically discriminates against women by fostering a hostile work environment and denying women rightful salary increases. She is seeking $100 million in damages from the health payer.
In the complaint filed in U.S. district court in Boston, Bretta Karp, a 14-year-veteran of Cigna, charges the insurer maintains a work environment hostile to women and discriminates against them in promotions, pay, training, evaluations, and employment terms and conditions, reports the Wall Street Journal.
She specifically alleged that Cigna last year denied her a promotion because she "came across as too aggressive" in an interview and went on to take away her largest territories after she complained, according to Reuters. The lawsuit further claims that pervasive gender discrimination at Cigna subjected Karp to active and ongoing gender hostility from her male co-workers.
Karp has held a number of positions at Cigna and received "stellar annual performance reviews." Nevertheless, her salary level was "downgraded without explanation while male employees with her same qualifications were put in a higher level salary band," reports the Boston Globe.
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