Former HSBC Trader Reopens Discrimination Case

September 7, 2007 ( - A former trader who was fired relaunched a legal discrimination claim against HSBC Bank P.L.C., after two appeals tribunals already ruled that he was not fired because he was gay, according to Business Insurance.

Peter Lewis, who was formerly head of HSBC’s global equity trading business, was fired for gross personal misconduct in 2004 following an alleged sexual harassment incident at the bank’s gym. Lewis, who is openly gay, was dismissed by HSBC after another male staff member made a complaint about alleged lewd conduct in the company’s health club-a claim that he denied.

Lewis lost his original £5 million ($9.5 million) lawsuit against HSBC, in which he claimed unfair dismissal based on sexual orientation.

A U.K. ruled in May 2006 that Lewis was treated unfairly because he was gay, but not fired because of it (See UK Tribunal Issues Split Ruling in Sexual Orientation Discrim Case ), a claim which another appeals tribunal later upheld (See UK Appeals Tribunal Upholds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ruling ).

In his latest claim, Lewis says that HSBC Bank P.L.C.’s human resources staff rushed to a judgment against him in an investigation into alleged gross misconduct on the grounds of his sexual orientation.