Muslim bank manager to sue HBOS

A Muslim bank manager who claims she was accused of trying to sleep her way to the top is suing Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) for damages of £16.7m for sex, race and religious discrimination.

Mona Awad, a married 29-year-old corporate manager, says that two of her bosses falsely accused her of having sex with a client, mocked her religion and made sexist remarks.

At an employment tribunal in Nottingham on Wednesday, she will claim one senior employee warned that he would only stop humiliating her in front of colleagues if she had sex with him. A second man allegedly hurled a string of lewd taunts, including a comment that she could not “handle two men”.

He allegedly searched for her in the ladies’ toilet when she took a break and suggested that cleaning was women’s work. She claims he slapped another female employee’s bottom at a horse racing event in front of clients.

She also alleges one of the men mocked her fasting during the month of Ramadan as “ridiculous” and said that he did not want to work with Asians.

Awad, who is British-born but of Egyptian origin, claims a third colleague asked her at a Christmas party whether she was an “active Muslim”. When she asked what he meant, he allegedly replied: “Do you carry bombs on trains?”

Guardian, 5 January 2008