NY judge won't nix long-running Goldman Sachs sex bias claims

A trader works at the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Goldman sought to toss many claims and decertify class in 2010 case
  • Judge said dueling testimony must be sorted out at trial
  • Case involves 2,000 women who worked for Goldman over 20 years

March 18 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Manhattan has rejected Goldman Sachs & Co's bid to toss out the bulk of a 12-year-old class action alleging widespread bias against female employees in pay and promotions and to undo a class of about 2,000 women.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in a 59-page order on Thursday said that because all of the class members she certified in 2018 were subject to the same employment policies while working for the investment bank, they had established standing to pursue class-wide claims.

Torres also denied motions by Goldman and the plaintiffs for summary judgment on many of the claims in the 2010 lawsuit. The judge said that dueling expert testimony foreclosed a pre-trial win for either side.

It's a jury's job "to determine which is the more trustworthy and credible," Torres wrote.

The lawsuit covers female associates and vice presidents who worked in three Goldman divisions as far back as 2002. They claim the investment bank systematically gave women weaker performance reviews than men, impeding their career growth and pay.

Goldman, which is represented by Paul Hastings and Sullivan & Cromwell, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did lawyers at Outten & Golden who represent the class.

The named plaintiffs claim Goldman's practice of using performance reviews to create rankings that determined pay and promotions disfavored women, who occupied a small fraction of high-level positions at the company.

Goldman has denied wrongdoing and has said that statistical evidence the plaintiffs cite in the case is oversimplified and misleading.

The case is Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs & Co, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:10-cv-06950

For the plaintiffs: Christopher McNerney of Outten & Golden

For Goldman Sachs: Neal Mollen of Paul Hastings; Theodore Rogers of Sullivan & Cromwell

Read more:

U.S. judge certifies Goldman Sachs gender bias class action

Goldman Sachs fights bias lawsuit, cites Wal-Mart

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Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making. He can be reached at daniel.wiessner@thomsonreuters.com.