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PRESS RELEASE
5-8-14

Bank of Albuquerque to Pay $230K to Settle EEOC Age and Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Bank Fired Two Women Because of Age and Sex, Federal Agency Charged

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - BOK Financial Corporation, doing business as the Bank of Albuquerque, will pay $230,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age and sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  

According to the EEOC's suit, the bank fired two managers, Elizabeth Morantes and Yolanda Fernandez, who were long-time employees, because of their gender and because they were over 40 years of age.  The EEOC said the bank's purported reasons for firing the women were based on criteria that were not applied to younger male managers and employees.  

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act which bars discrimination on the basis of age, 40 and above.   

The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. BOK Financial Corporation dba Bank of Albuquerque, (CV 11-01132-ALB-RCB-LAM), in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in Albuquerque, after exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement.

Besides the monetary relief, BOK also agreed to refrain from any future discrimination; post an anti-discrimination notice; provide training; and to report to the EEOC on its compliance with these terms.

"Longtime employees should not be jettisoned because of their age or gender," said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill.  "Such practices violate federal law as well as basic fairness."

Rayford O. Irvin, district director of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, added, "We will continue to vigorously pursue our mission of fighting employment discrimination on all fronts, including discrimination based on both age and sex."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  The EEOC's Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).  Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.