A New York federal judge has set June 5 for the start of a class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, accused by more than 1,400 current and former employees of gender bias and sexual harassment.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who held positions as partners or vice presidents at the bank, filed court documents Thursday containing damning testimony, including references to multiple sexual assaults.
The charges in the suit, launched in 2010, also include at least 75 cases of misconduct in the workplace — such as touching, inappropriate comments and requests for sex — as well as wage discrimination or denial of promotion to women employees on the basis of gender.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers have denounced a corporate culture that breeds sexist and misogynistic behavior.
“Goldman is aware of these problems, and it tolerates managers who engage in gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, and/or gender favoritism,” they said.
Complaints date back to July 2002 and span almost a decade.
“I hope this case will help to finally break the glass ceiling for women on Wall Street and set a precedent for other industries where gender discrimination is pervasive,” said Cristina Chen-Oster, one of the lead plaintiffs, in a statement.
“We need to bring transparency to practices that previously seemed untouchable.”
Goldman Sachs has hit back against the accusations.
“The Plaintiffs’ presentation of the complaints does not reflect reality at Goldman Sachs,” a spokesman told AFP.
“Many are two decades old and have been presented selectively, inaccurately and are incomplete,” he said, noting the bank would not comment on specific complaints.
“Discrimination, harassment and mistreatment in any form are unacceptable at Goldman Sachs, and when identified, swift action, including termination, is taken.”