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Investment bank accused of LGBT discrimination

New York-based Goldman Sachs was accused of workplace discrimination on June 5 in a lawsuit filed by one of its former vice presidents. The 31-year-old man clams that he was terminated after speaking up about the way LGBT workers were treated at the company. A Goldman Sachs representative denied the allegations, which he described as meritless.

The man joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2010 after graduating from college. He says in his lawsuit that he was promoted to vice president after only six years with the bank due to his outstanding job performance. He claims that things changed in 2018 when he filed a complaint with the bank's employee Relations department over what he described as rampant homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination.

The man alleges that his firing was a blatant act of retaliation. He says that the poor performance reviews the bank used to justify his termination was a carefully constructed paper trail. The lawsuit may prove embarrassing for a bank that has worked hard in recent years to portray itself as a tolerant and diverse workplace. Goldman Sachs was given a perfect score in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, which is published each year by the Human Rights Campaign.

Attorneys with experience in workplace discrimination cases may seek to establish a detailed timeline when presented with facts like these. The burden of proof in civil cases is not as high as it is in criminal prosecutions, and employers may find it difficult to explain how workers with several years of excellent service began to receive negative performance reviews immediately after complaining about unfair treatment.

Source: CNBC, "Goldman Sachs is sued by a gay former executive who alleges sexual orientation discrimination", Eric Rosenbaum, June 5, 2019

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