Employee Fired over Swimsuit Photo Sues Bank

May 18, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A bank vice president is suing her employer, saying she was fired after a photo of her in a swimsuit was published in a newspaper.

The Chattanoogan reports that Sheri Doub is suing Citizens Tri-County Bank and bank officials Glenn Barker and C. Ann Smith. According to the suit, the same day Doub’s picture appeared in the lifestyle section of the Chattanooga Times Free Press along with other young women modeling the latest in swimwear, Barker and Smith came to her and told her she was terminated.

She said she was told by Barker “she ought consider a career in modeling, since she would no longer have a career in banking,” according to the Chattanoogan. Doub said she was also told the photo had caused the bank “great embarrassment.”

Doub’s attorney said in the news report, “No reasonable person can imagine that the defendants could summarily terminate a previously highly-performing male employee solely for appearing in sportswear in a respected local newspaper. The termination was solely because of plaintiff’s gender.”

Smith, a bank president, said, “Sheri Doub’s lawsuit is unfounded. We made a personnel decision in the best interest of our bank and its customers. Ms. Doub’s leaving the bank was handled properly, and it’s unfortunate that her claims appear to be more sensational than factual.”

The complaint says Doub has suffered emotional distress and was prescribed anti-depressive medication. The suit seeks $500,000 and reinstatement to her job with back pay.