A US investment banker, who is such a fan of music legend Elvis Presley that he changed his name in honor of his hero, has sued his former employer for unfair dismissal.
The banker, who works for a well-known US investment bank, cannot yet be named for legal reasons. He has filed a lawsuit at the US District Court, Southern District of New York, claiming that he was harassed and victimised at work, and says that he was unfairly dismissed.
Employed in the firm's Compliance Department, the banker says that his employer objected when he officially changed his name to 'Elvis Presley', and insisted that staff continue to refer to him by his birth name. 'I found it offensive that my employer would not respect my decision to change my name', the banker says in his complaint. He also claims that the bank sent him home when he turned up for work one morning in a white leather zoot suit, complete with black and silver tassels. (He says that, at the time, his firm had adopted a casual dress policy, and that several other staff were much more improperly dressed).
The Wall Street firm also apparently objected when the banker dyed his hair black and started strutting around the office in what has been described as a 'hip-wiggling, quiff-quivering, lip-curling' style. Another incident that upset the banker was when his boss instructed him to change his voice-mail message - the 'thank you very much' said at the end of his message in imitation of Elvis was apparently a bit much for several staff, who complained that it made them feel too embarrassed to even leave a message.
The banker, who has been an Elvis fan for several years, also says that he was victimised and mocked by several of the firm staff, and that bosses did nothing to stop this even though he complained about it on several occasions. He lost a leg in a freak accident whilst on stage in an Elvis look-a-like competition in 2005, and says that things became much worse following his disability - on one occasion several of his colleagues in Compliance are alleged to have clubbed together and sung the words 'Wooden Leg' to the tune of the Elvis classic 'Wooden Heart'. The final straw came for the banker when he was called in by a member of Human Resources and fired. The HR professional is said to have looked up from his desk, smirked and simply quipped that it was time that 'Elvis' left the building.
Although the banker says that he remains 'All Shook Up' over his alleged treatment by his ex-firm, he is hard in training for the One-Legged Elvis Presley-Lookalike Alligator-Wrestling Challenge that is taking place in Memphis on August 16th to commemorate the anniversary of The King's death.