Goldman's Gender Bias Fight Moves Closer to Trial After 13 Years

(Bloomberg) -- A 13-year gender-discrimination fight against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. just moved closer to trial.

Four women who worked for the bank won class-action status in March, allowing them to represent more than 2,000 current and former female Goldman Sachs employees. The bank asked to immediately appeal that decision, and a panel of three U.S. Court of Appeals judges in New York rejected that request in a ruling issued Tuesday.

“We are happy,” said Kelly Dermody, a lawyer for the women. “We look forward to the next stage of the case.”

Cristina Chen-Oster, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, first filed a complaint against the bank with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2005, then sued five years later. With its class of thousands of women, the case looms large on Wall Street, where the biggest U.S. banks are all led by men.

The lawsuit alleges the company let its managers make biased pay and promotion decisions that systematically denied women opportunities they deserved.

“We continue to believe that the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit, and will continue to defend ourselves,” Michael DuVally, a Goldman spokesman, said.

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