AIG Discrimination Lawsuit - Former AIG Head Trying to Deflect Focus, Plaintiffs Say

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Two ex-vice presidents of AIG claim that a pervasive discrimatory atmosphere at the company is clear.

Two ex-vice presidents of a unit of American International Group Inc. say that a pervasive discriminatory atmosphere at the company is clear, despite attempts by Joseph Cassano to deflect criticism.

Cassano is the former head of the AIG unit that brought the mammoth insurance company to the brink of collapse by placing risky bets on subprime loans.

Following the filing of a discrimination lawsuit by Susan Potter and Deonna Taylor, the two ex-vice presidents at the AIG derivatives unit in Wilton, Conn., Cassano released several emails in an apparent attempt to show that he treated men and women at the company equally.

Cassano is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which is against AIG.

“It is unfortunate that someone not directly involved in this suit is trying to intervene, selectively disclosing emails that are completely out of context, seemingly in a meager attempt to better his own previously sullied reputation,” said Atty. Deborah McKenna who is representing the two women.

“Clearly, Mr. Cassano is trying to deflect the negative attention he attracted by making light of legitimate and serious sex discrimination complaints that seem to have been fostered and tolerated under his regime,” said McKenna, of Outten & Golden, the Stamford and New York employment discrimination law firm

“We look forward to getting all of the facts through the discovery process, including emails from Mr. Cassano that he may have found not to his advantage to disclose,” McKenna said. “At this point, we are trying to shelter the two women who filed these complaints because the history at AIG suggests that they might be subject to some sort of retaliation.”

“We look forward to the day when we will be able to bring this case to a jury,” she said.

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 19 in U.S. District Court in Hartford, alleges that Potter and Taylor were “subjected to adverse terms and conditions of employment, including termination because of their age and sex.” (Case # 3: 10-cv-00250-RNC)

The lawsuit says the women were paid less than men in similar positions of responsibility, highlighting AIG’s long history of undervaluing the contributions of older women.

Outten & Golden LLP represents employees, executives and partners in all areas of employment law. From representing senior executives in contract negotiations, to protecting individuals' civil rights in the workplace, to combating worker exploitation and systemic discrimination in class action and impact litigation, Outten & Golden LLP is a recognized leader in the field of employment law.

Note: Copies of the Complaint are available upon request.


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