ABINGDON — A Southwest Virginia banking chain faces a federal discrimination case filed in Abingdon Federal Court on New Year’s Day.
Mary Y. Trigiani, a former strategic planning and development vice president with New Peoples Bank, is suing the company for unspecified lost wages and benefits; compensatory, punitive and other damages; and costs and attorney’s fees.
Trigiani claims in the suit that she was discriminated against on the basis of age, sex and religion while employed by New Peoples Bank from July 2019 until her position was eliminated in September 2019.
Trigiani claimed that company president and CEO C. Todd Asbury favored employees who “espoused evangelical cultural positions” while employees with non-evangelical religious beliefs “were ultimately disfavored by NPB.” Trigiani is Catholic.
Trigiani, in the suit, also claimed that female employees “were marginalized, isolated, intimidated and disfavored due to a discriminatory animus against both non-evangelical employees and women.”
According to Trigiani’s claims, her experience in marketing and communications was sometimes disregarded when it came to compiling the company’s annual report and her work on a customer overdraft protection program. That included her being excluded from meetings with Chief Financial Officer John Boczar and from staffing decisions.
Trigiani also claimed that management and subordinates undercut her supervisory role, including deference to an allegedly insubordinate branch employee.
When separated from the company, Trigiani alleges, company officials claimed it was because of a reduction-in-force of “a significant group of personnel.” She claims in the suit that New Peoples Bank did not follow employment law requiring disclosures about the RIF.
CEO Asbury did not return a call from the Kingsport Times News on Thursday.
Trigiani’s attorney, Thomas E. Strelka, said Thursday that “we look forward to our day in court.”
Trigiani has requested a jury trial. Strelka said that NPB has 60 days to respond to the suit.