Insurance agency faces sex discrimination suit

TD Banknorth Insurance Agency and its parent company – TD Banknorth — are being sued by an insurance account executive who claims she was fired after complaining about sexual discrimination.

Kathleen A. Sousa, an Amherst resident who first started working for the agency in 1998 when it was Conway-based AD Davis, claims that things changed after the agency was acquired by Banknorth and Joseph Fico was hired as her supervisor in 2003.

Sousa, who worked primarily with social services and nonprofit agencies in eastern Massachusetts, charges that Fico treated Sousa more harshly than her male counterparts, rolled his eyes, spoke in a condescending way and “screamed” at her.

Sousa says she complained to the human resources department in March 2004. After she was told the matter was closed, Sousa says, she requested a meeting with Banknorth’s most senior female executive. A week later, Fico fired her. The firm failed to pay her more than $16,000 in commissions, the complaint also alleges.

Sousa filed the suit last month. It was moved to federal court last week. Banknorth’s attorney could not be reached by deadline. — BOB SANDERS

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