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Commerzbank victimized employee over sex-bias lawsuit: London court

By Clare Hutchison

LONDON (Reuters) - A London banker, fired for failing to disclose a sexual discrimination lawsuit against her former employer Deutsche Bank , won an employment tribunal for victimization against Germany's Commerzbank on Monday.

Latifa Bouabdillah is claiming more than 13 million pounds ($20 million) in compensation and damages will be set at a hearing on September 23 and 24.

Commerzbank dismissed Bouabdillah from her 150,000 pounds a year job as a trader in June, just a week after details of her 1 million pound sex discrimination suit against Deutsche Bank were published in the media and after less than a month in the role.

The Frankfurt-based bank said they fired Bouabdillah because her failure to tell her bosses about the case when she applied for the job was dishonest and a breach of trust.

She also exposed Commerzbank to reputational damage, the bank said.

But the London Central employment tribunal rejected Commerzbank's argument, saying that Bouabdillah did not mislead Commerzbank at any stage.

"(Commerzbank) did not analyse sufficiently whether they were right to conclude that there was a breakdown of trust and confidence... We find that this was an emotionally driven decision rather than an analytically reached position," the judgment said.

Bouabdillah also claimed Commerzbank had discriminated against her on grounds of her sex, but the tribunal rejected that allegation.

In a statement issued through her lawyer, Tim Johnson of Tim Johnson/Law, Bouabdillah said she was "absolutely delighted with decision".

Commerzbank said in a statement it was considering its legal options following the decision and that Bouabdillah's managers were justified in firing her.

"The Claimant was dismissed for a breach of trust and confidence after having failed adequately to disclose the true reasons for leaving her former employer," the statement said.

Bouabdillah brought a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for sex discrimination after she resigned as a vice-president with the bank's equity-structuring group in 2011.

She told a London court in June last year that her male colleagues at Deutsche Bank were promoted ahead of her and received bonuses up to three times higher than her own, according to media reports at the time.

Bouabdillah's lawyer said her claim against Deutsche Bank has now been settled. He declined to give any further details.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on its own case or the one involving Bouabdillah and Commerzbank.

(Editing by Louise Ireland)

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