Following recent reports that Goldman Sachs, the fifth largest bank in the US, has a gender pay gap of 55%, over 2,300 women are now filing a claim for compensation against their employer. They are claiming that the bank has discriminated against them on the grounds of gender. The ruling will cover all female employees who have worked for Goldman Sachs since 2004 in the investment banking, securities and investment management divisions.
Analisa Torres, who is a US district judge, has now given approval for further action to be taken by the employees. She said that the women have the right to start a lawsuit for the allegations that discrimination has taken place in terms of pay, giving weaker performance reviews and putting less women forward for promotions in the company.
Ms Torres also noted that the plaintiffs provided “significant proof of discriminatory disparate treatment”. However, she added that it will not include claims that the company operates a “boys’ club atmosphere”, or any of the allegations of harassment or gender stereotyping.
Kelly Dermody, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, estimated that over 2000 employees could be entitled to sue their employer. “We obviously are very, very pleased. This case is eight years old, and sometimes it’s worth the wait,” she said. This is one of the highest profile cases to be made against an employer on the ground of gender discrimination.
In the decision, the judge gave examples of unequal treatment of the plaintiffs, who were led by Cristina Chen-Oster, Mary De Luis and Allison Gamba, who were all vice presidents, and Shanna Orlich who was an associate. She commented on the pay gap, which for these claimants, was an average of 21% lower than their male colleagues.
She also noted that any future cases against the company, or any other employer in the financial services industry, would be treated on a case-by-case basis and that the industry as a whole wouldn’t be targeted. Goldman Sachs has yet to comment on the ruling.