Anthony Hsieh, founder and CEO of loandepot
A former loanDepot worker has filed a lawsuit in opposition to the corporate and its CEO, Anthony Hsieh, for allegedly discriminating in opposition to him resulting from his bodily disabilities and his sexual orientation. That is the second lawsuit filed this yr that alleges a poisonous, masculine tradition on the California-based nonbank lender.
Trevor Dickens, 29, labored for loanDepot from 2015-2017 and 2020-2021, on the name heart situated in Plano (TX), when the corporate allegedly refused lodging for his medical wants and subjected him to humiliation and anti-homosexual slurs.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in the USA District Court docket for the Jap District of Texas.
In keeping with Dickens’s legal professional, Mark Robinius, managing associate at Robinius, Espinosa & Wietzel, LLP, the U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee contacted each events to interact in mediation, however loanDepot declined. Dickens is looking for $10 million in damages.
LoanDepot, the nation’s second-largest retail lender, didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.
In his lawsuit, Dickens claims to have suffered an harm to his again in 2015 and, after eight decrease again and spinal twine surgical procedures, relied on a wheelchair to ambulate. As a result of his medical circumstances, he additionally made frequent journeys to the restroom and couldn’t sit in a chair for lengthy durations with out ache, he stated within the lawsuit.
His job was to obtain and make calls to prospects and cross them alongside to mortgage officers. The lender knew about Dickens’s circumstances earlier than he was employed, Dickens’s lawsuit claims.
Nonetheless, the lawsuit claims that loanDepot’s name heart permitted the workers to have solely 10 minutes per workday to make use of the restroom. In any other case, administration would topic them to administrative self-discipline, a written warning, or, in some instances, termination, the go well with alleges.
“Underneath some extent system, name heart workers acquired demerits of their LoanDepot human useful resource file in the event that they left their desks for greater than 10-minutes per workday,” the lawsuit states.
Dickens alleges that he submitted doctor notes asking his exclusion from the rule, however was allegedly advised by administration, “it is advisable to be on the cellphone and never on the bathroom.”
Dickens additionally claims that the corporate refused to accommodate his sexual orientation by punishing him for terminating prospects’ calls after they uttered homophobic slurs. The previous worker was required to maintain potential prospects on the cellphone to assemble info, regardless of anti-gay insults, his lawsuit alleges.
“Quite than accommodating Dickens’ sexual orientation, LoanDepot administration admonished him for not training their ‘rebuttal’ strategies and withstanding the extremely offensive verbal abuse from the potential prospects,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit provides that Dickens left the corporate in 2017, fell right into a state of melancholy and self-medicated with alcohol. In April 2020, after reaching sobriety, he was re-hired. By November, lengthy durations of sitting stationary exacerbated ache and he wanted an emergency again surgical procedure. In August of 2021, Dickens resigned.
In keeping with the lawsuit, Dickens dreamed of turning into a mortgage mortgage officer however was by no means promoted resulting from bodily disabilities and sexual orientation.
“We intend to aggressively prosecute this case to win a measure of justice for Mr. Dickens in addition to the opposite homosexual and disabled folks on the market who’re being compelled to endure the chauvinistic and unaccommodating boiler room tradition of LoanDepot,” Robinius stated in a press release to HousingWire.
In one other lawsuit that takes purpose at loanDepot’s tradition, Tammy Richards, former chief operations officer, contains a number of allegations that male firm executives created and enforced a “misogynistic frat home tradition” that routinely led to girls being harassed and demeaned.
Richards additionally alleges that Hsieh ordered the gross sales staff to belief debtors and shut loans, disregarding correct underwriting requirements. The previous govt is looking for $75 million within the lawsuit.
In an SEC submitting this month, firm administration stated they don’t imagine the allegations have benefit, however “defending such allegations may lead to substantial prices and a diversion of administration’s consideration and sources.”
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