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JPMorgan Chase accused of gender bias in lawsuit

NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N was sued on Tuesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the bank of discriminating against women by paying them less than men and subjecting them to a "sexually hostile" work environment.

The federal lawsuit alleged that JPMorgan fired Aimee Doneyhue, who worked in a Columbus, Ohio office, after she alleged the second-largest U.S. bank made it more difficult for women than men to earn commissions and bonuses, and subjected women to verbal harassment.

It said the New York-based bank retaliated against Doneyhue by subjecting her to ridicule, including telling her that she was an “idiot,” and fired her after learning from her that she had consulted with the EEOC.

The complaint seeks to recover back pay and other losses suffered by Doneyhue and other women, punitive damages, an end to practices that discriminate on the basis of gender, and other remedies.

JPMorgan spokesman Joe Evangelisti declined to comment.

The case is EEOC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Columbus), No. 09-711. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel)