Since 2010, a group of women have been suing Goldman Sachs for discrimination during their time as employees there.
A complaint filed by Cristina Chen-Oster, Shana Orlich, and Lisa Parisi back in 2010 alleges that their male peers were paid up to 100% more than they were, experienced sexual harassment, and were forced to perform menial tasks like making photo copies and answering phone calls.
On Tuesday, they filed with the Court to turn their case into a class action suit.
“This is a normal and anticipated procedural step for any proposed class action lawsuit and does not change the case’s lack of merit,” said David Wells, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs.
It doesn’t mean Goldman did anything wrong necessarily, it just means that, if U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres decides to grant class certification, any women who worked at Goldman during the statute of limitations of the case and feel they experienced this same treatment could jump in and make this very complicated for Goldman.
Last year, the Court forced the bank to cough up all of its gender-bias complaints from female employees.
A source close to the situation told Business Insider that Goldman plans to vigorously defend its position in the coming weeks, challenging the plaintiffs on their allegations that the bank’s promotion, pay and performance review practices favour men.
Here’s what kind of behaviour the Court will be looking for in order to grant class-action certification:
- Chen-Oster alleges that she had business taken away from her, watched as a man she trained was promoted above her, and was paid up to 100% less than her male colleagues. Moreover, after a night out celebrating a colleagues promotion, Chen-Oster and her colleagues went to Scores, a NYC strip club. One colleague, she alleges, insisted on walking Chen-Oster home from the club and proceeded to sexually assault her in the hallway of her apartment. She fought him off. Her colleague asked her to keep the incident private. When she did eventually tell her supervisor sometime later, she found out her supervisor already knew and had done nothing.
- Parisi, a Managing Director at Goldman, says she saw her compensation drop 60% from 2005 to 2007 while her male colleagues saw theirs double from 2001 to 2007. She claims she was not given an objective reason for this decline.
- Orlich got a full-time position with Goldman in 2007. Armed with a JD/MBA from Columbia University, she wanted to be a trader. However, she claims, her supervisors says she wasn’t the “right fit”, or that she was “too junior” while promoting men that had been in the same Columbia class with her. While men were having push-up contests on the trading floor, her supervisors would ask Orlich to do menial tasks like setting up Blackberrys, making photo copies, or answering phone calls from their wives. Orlich was not invited to golf outings (even though she played Varsity golf in high school) allegedly because she was too junior. More junior male employees, however, were invited to go.
Pretty heavy stuff. If the Judge allows this case to become a class action, there could be stories like these spilling all over the place. That’s the last thing Goldman wants.
Check out the full complaint below: