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Former AIG Financial Products Executives Allege Age, Gender Bias

March 1, 2010
Related Topics: Corporate Culture, Discrimination and EEOC Compliance, Ethics, Latest News

Two female former AIG Financial Products Corp. vice presidents have filed suit against the unit and American International Group Inc., alleging age and gender discrimination and retaliation.

Plaintiffs in the case, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, are Susan Potter, who was 56 when she was terminated in July 2009, and Deonna Taylor, who was 60 when she was terminated in October 2008 from the financial products unit, which has an office in Wilton, Connecticut.

The women, who were terminated after they filed charges with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2008, said they were told there was a $100,000 salary cap, when younger, male employees at the unit were paid more.

They also allege in the complaint that Joseph Cassano, the unit’s former president and CEO, “generally promoted a ‘boys club’ atmosphere and frequently made discriminatory statements about the staff.” The complaint said Cassano “made reference to his desire to attract young metropolitan workers from New York City to give the company ‘curb appeal.’ ”

The complaint said that out of about 108 vice presidents employed by AIG worldwide, only 12 of those positions were held by women.

Among other things, the suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, back pay and attorney fees.

AIG responded in a statement that it “denies it discriminated or retaliated against these plaintiffs. AIG prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, sex or any other protected category and is committed to providing employees with a workplace free from unlawful discrimination and retaliation.”

Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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