Fired HSBC Executive May Amend Complaint to Assert Retaliatory Termination

A federal court recently allowed plaintiff Michael Picarella, a now former HSBC senior vice president, to amend his complaint in his lawsuit against HSBC. The action, currently pending in the Southern District of New York, is captioned Picarella v. HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., 14-cv-04463.

In his first amended complaint, filed 8/27/14, plaintiff alleged (among other things) that he suffered retaliation after complaining to HSBC “that a young female co-worker had been the victim of unlawful and debilitating sexual harassment by senior HSBC executives.”

According to the scheduling order in the case, amended pleadings were supposed to have been filed by November 10, 2014. However, according to a letter filed by plaintiff’s counsel on March 27, 2015, since that time HSBC subjected Mr. Picarella to additional acts of retaliation, including locking him out of HSBC’s premises, terminating his access to HSBC systems, and declining to pay him a bonus. Plaintiff therefore sought permission to supplement his complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d).

On March 31, 2015, the court permitted plaintiff to file a second amended complaint asserting that HSBC further retaliated against him by firing him – according to the proposed second amended complaint, on March 27, 2015 – for pretextual reasons.

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