Lawsuit claims women at Goldman Sachs were harassed, assaulted for years
Scores of women employed at Goldman Sachs
more than a decade ago unsealed fresh accusations of how they were subjected for years to discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault by male managers at the Wall Street giant.
A judge on Thursday set a trial date of June 5, 2023, in the U.S. Southern District of New York for the yearslong litigation.
The documents list at least 75 reported instances of sexual misconduct by male managers as well as seven criminal complaints alleging serious felonies including rape, attempted rape and sexual assault.
The company was also accused of letting off managers with warnings despite repeated complaints from female subordinates.
“For instance, one male manager took his female employee to an abandoned office floor and propositioned her for sex,” court papers allege. The male manager then “separately called her and said he was masturbating to the sound of her voice.”
“He also insisted that she come to his apartment, where he showed her pictures he had taken of other Goldman female employees in lingerie,” the complaint read.
Attorneys released internal complaints that were submitted to Goldman officials between the years 2000 and 2011 describing how one manager is said to have told a female subordinate that “with that feisty nature, you would be good in bed.”
Another Goldman manager told a female subordinate that he loved her, and repeatedly made sexually suggestive comments and overtures during his business trips, the suit claims.
According to court papers, the woman was quoted as saying: “I was talking to this guy who just got promoted to VP…I told him about how it made me uncomfortable how the guys were touching me, and he was really supportive and giving me advice on what to do, and the next thing I know, his hand is on my ass, too!”
A Goldman Sachs spokesperson told The Post: “The Plaintiffs’ presentation of the complaints does not reflect reality at Goldman Sachs. Many are two decades old and have been presented selectively, inaccurately and are incomplete.”
The spokesperson added: “Discrimination, harassment and mistreatment in any form are unacceptable at Goldman Sachs, and when identified, swift action, including termination, is taken.”
“Out of respect for the persons involved, we are not going to comment on the individual complaints.”
The court documents go on to list other instances of unwanted touching. One male employee is said to have showed co-workers a sex tape he made with an unidentified woman and then “perpetuated rumor that the woman was a female co-worker.”
The suit claims there were at least seven criminal complaints filed alleging sexual assault, attempted rape, or rape by male Goldman employees.
One female employee alleged she was drugged and raped by a male employee after a company baseball game.
The suit also alleged that a male manager harassed, groped, and propositioned a female subordinate for sex during an orientation retreat.
After she rejected his advances, he followed her into her room, tried to get into bed with her, and would not leave her alone until she was able to lock the door, according to the suit.
The court documents also allege that Goldman is “aware of these problems” and that it “tolerates managers who engage in gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, and/or gender favoritism.”
One female employee alleges that it is “widely known” that a “participating managing director” was “inappropriate toward young women” and that “other women have inappropriate experiences with [him],” and that she is “terrified of being with him alone.”
The documents go on to list other alleged incidents, including one in which the company offered only a “verbal warning” to a male manager who is said to have groped his assistant.
Another male associated was let off with a “strongly worded written warning” after he spread a rumor of a sex tape.
“In fact, perpetrators of sexual harassment have been promoted to or allowed to remain in senior managerial positions,” according to attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
One of three named plaintiffs who filed the legal action against Goldman, Cristina Chen-Oster, first went public with her allegations in 2005.
The MIT grad who rose to become a vice president at Goldman alleged that a male co-worker pinned her against the wall and shoved his hand down her blouse while trying to force himself on her.
Court papers allege that even after she reported the incident to the company, her assailant was promoted to managing director.
The other named plaintiffs in the case are Allison Gamba and Shanna Orlich.
Gamba alleges that she was passed over for a promotion despite generating a department record of $9.5 million as a trader for Goldman at the New York Stock Exchange while less qualified male colleagues were elevated in rank and pay.
When she pulled her boss aside and asked him if he had nominated her for a managing director role, she said he told her: “I would have been a laughing stock if I had nominated you.”
“I just knew I wasn’t going to get promoted anymore,” Gamba told Vox in 2019.
“My head was up against the glass ceiling.”
Orlich worked at Goldman as an associate who traded distressed credit. She alleged that her manager hired prostitutes “wearing short black skirts, strapless tops, and Santa hats” for a holiday party.
Last month, a former Goldman banker, Jamie Fiore Higgins, released a memoir alleging that the investment bank’s Manhattan headquarters was so rife with misogyny that a colleague kept a spreadsheet ranking female recruits on their “f–kability,” declaring: “I want tit size and a– shape.”
Higgins, 46, of Somerset County, New Jersey, writes that she was told by a male colleague that she was promoted “because of her vagina” and that she was the target of “moo” sounds from co-workers who mocked her weight after she gave birth to her fourth child.
On another occasion, she alleges, she was violently pinned to a wall by a male colleague who “wrapped [his hand] around my jaw” and threatened her while she was suspended in midair.
Higgins is the author of “Bully Market: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs,” which is currently Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller in the “Financial Services Industry” category.
The investment bank provided a statement to The Post that read: “Had Ms. Higgins raised these allegations with our human resources department at the time we would have investigated them thoroughly and addressed them seriously.”
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or retaliation against employees reporting misconduct.”
A Goldman spokesperson also pointed out that Higgins writes in the “author’s note” portion of the book that the “Goldman Sachs individuals referenced are composite characters.”