Goldman Women Say ‘Overwhelming’ Bias Proof Merits Quick Ruling
(Bloomberg) -- A group of women suing Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told a federal judge that proof of gender bias in the bank’s pay and promotion decisions was so ‘overwhelming’ she should rule in their favor on a major issue ahead of trial.
In court filing late on Monday, the plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres to grant them summary judgment on their claim that Goldman’s practices had a “disparate impact” on women, saying both their own statistical analysis and data provided by Goldman offered clear evidence of systemic discrimination.
“The data provided by Goldman show unequivocally that women do worse in performance reviews, are paid less and are promoted less often than men with the same relevant characteristics,” the plaintiffs said in their filing.
But Goldman also asked the judge for summary judgment on Monday, saying there was no proof of disparate impact and that its own statistical analysis showed that “gender disparities exist only in certain groups and certain time periods.”
The women, who were associates and vice presidents at Goldman, sued the bank in 2010 in one of the biggest employment discrimination cases in Wall Street history, claiming it made biased compensation decisions and denied women opportunities they had earned.
Goldman has denied the allegations. Maeve DuVally, a spokeswoman for the bank, declined to comment beyond the bank’s court filing.
The women’s disparate impact claim focuses on three of the bank’s practices -- performance reviews, forced ranking of employees and a method for making promotion decisions.
The plaintiffs say their statistical analysis shows “overwhelming” proof that female employees “fare far worse than men with the same relevant characteristics” in each of the three practices, with mean scores on performance reviews lower for female associates than men in every year from 2002 to 2015 except 2008, when they were the same, and lower for vice presidents in every year.
But Goldman said its own analysis showed “something other than the challenged processes themselves -- for example, the individualized discretion of the thousands of decision makers applying the challenged processes in different ways at different times,” or a flawed analysis by the plaintiffs, caused any alleged disparities.
The plaintiffs said that resolving the disparate impact issue before trial will help to streamline the case and allow the court to focus on remain issues, including retaliation and intentional discrimination.
The case is Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 10-cv-06950, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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