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Former exec sues Systemax for sexual discrimination

A former executive at Systemax Inc., Danielle Markou,

A former executive at Systemax Inc., Danielle Markou, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Port Washington electronics retailer, saying she was paid less than her male colleagues and ultimately fired because she was pregnant. The company's headquarters is pictured here.

A former executive at Systemax Inc. has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Port Washington electronics retailer, saying she was paid less than her male colleagues and ultimately fired because she was pregnant.

Danielle Markou, who lives in Suffolk County, filed the complaint against Systemax last week in federal court in Central Islip, saying her wrongful termination in 2013 capped a 5-year career at Systemax that was rife with sexual discrimination.

Markou, a former vice president of risk management for the company, said the department she ran was allotted fewer resources than those run by men, her complaints to top executives about unsafe products went unheeded and she was subject to crude sexual taunts from superiors.

A company spokesman, Michael Smargiassi, said Markou was dismissed for appropriate reasons and that Systemax officials "categorically deny her claims."

"The company takes safety and gender equality very seriously and has adequate controls in place," Smargiassi said. "We look forward to defending ourselves against these baseless allegations in court."

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