(Bloomberg) -- A former employee of Pacific Investment Management Co. claimed she was sexually harassed by men at the firm and demoted after she rejected advances by her boss, the former chairman of Pimco funds, Brent Harris.
Harris’s former chief assistant, Amanda Thiem, made the allegations in an updated complaint filed Thursday in state court in Santa Ana, California. She’s one of three women who made harassment claims against Pimco in the filing. They joined a suit filed last year by two women who claimed the money manager operates as a fraternity that favors white men.
Thiem claimed Harris made a sexual advance on her in his home and demoted her after she refused. She claims she was then “targeted and ostracized” by co-workers. She also alleged that a former top communications executive at the bond fund giant repeatedly asked her to engage in a sex act with him.
“Pimco thoroughly investigates each and every allegation of misconduct that is brought to our attention,” spokesman Michael Reid said in a statement. “Pimco is committed to providing employees with an inclusive workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation of any kind and follows strict procedures when informed of allegations of misconduct. Pimco holds its employees to the highest ethical standards, so anyone found to have engaged in harassment, discrimination, sexual impropriety or any other misconduct would have no place at the firm.”
Harris, who retired last year, declined to comment on the allegations.
“Thiem experienced persistent acts of sexual harassment by male employees, was retaliated against, intimidated, humiliated, and publicly shamed at Pimco,” a unit of Allianz SE, while employed as an administrative assistant from 2014 to 2018, according to the complaint.
Two other women who worked as administrative assistants at Pimco, Corie Hansen and Danielle Bertuzzi, joined the suit, claiming they were harassed and discriminated against based on gender.
The suit was filed in November by two women at the firm’s Newport Beach office who claimed the company culture marginalizes, demeans and undervalues women and that male leaders overtly favor other men regardless of their qualifications. Leadership encouraged worker gatherings at strip clubs, golf outings and poker nights, alienating female employees, according to the suit.
Pimco’s women are underpaid and underpromoted, while opportunities are funneled to male employees, the suit alleges. Both women said they were discriminated against based on their gender and were ultimately demoted after reporting instances of bias and harassment to the human resources department.
The case is Collazo v. Pacific Investment Management Co., 30-2020-01170559, California Superior Court, Orange County (Santa Ana).
--With assistance from Eliza Ronalds-Hannon.