Goldman Sachs Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit for $215 Million

By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on May 10, 2023

In a landmark development, Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $215 million to settle a long-standing gender discrimination class action lawsuit that has been winding its way through the legal system since 2010 and was set for trial next month. The settlement resolves the case and provides compensation to approximately 2,800 female Associates and Vice-Presidents employed in the Investment Banking, Investment Management, or Securities Divisions.

About a third of the settlement, totaling $71 million, will be set aside for legal fee, with the remainder divided between the plaintiffs. It is estimated that the plaintiffs will each receive between $47,000 and $52,000 depending on the final tally of legal expenses.

As part of the settlement, Goldman Sachs will undertake several measures over a three-year period, beginning with hiring an independent expert to conduct an additional analysis of performance evaluation processes and the process for promotion from Vice-President to Managing Director. The independent expert will conduct additional pay equity studies, and Goldman Sachs will address any identified gender pay gaps. Goldman Sachs agreed to instruct Vice-Presidents concerning career development and promotion criteria.

Goldman Sachs agreed to continuing periodic reviews independently beyond the three-year commitment.

The case was initially filed on September 10, 2010, with the plaintiffs alleging classwide gender discrimination in pay, performance evaluation, and promotion in violation of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York City Human Rights Law. The case was certified as class action in March 2018. The potentially embarrassing trial was scheduled to begin on June 7, 2023 in federal court.

The named plaintiffs – Cristina Chen-Oster, Shanna Orlich, Allison Gamba, and Mary De Luis – all held positions as Associates and/or Vice-Presidents in the Investment Banking, Investment Management, or Securities Divisions at Goldman Sachs. The settlement class includes all women who served as revenue-producing Associates or Vice Presidents at Goldman Sachs in the specified divisions in New York between July 7, 2002, and March 28, 2023, or elsewhere in the United States between September 10, 2004, and March 28, 2023. The settlement benefits are available to those who were subject to Goldman Sachs’s performance review processes (the 360 Review or Manager Quartiling) and/or held Vice President positions.

The settlement agreement now awaits preliminary approval from the court, after which a hearing date will be set. If the court grants final settlement approval, a third-party administrator will issue notices to the class members, and settlement amounts will be allocated based on an objective formula.

“As one of the original plaintiffs, I have been proud to support this case without hesitation over the last nearly thirteen years, and believe this settlement will help the women I had in mind when I filed the case,” said Shanna Orlich.

“My goal in this case has always been to support strong women on Wall Street. I am proud that the result we achieved here will advance gender equity,” said plaintiff Allison Gamba.

Plaintiffs’ co-counsel Kelly Dermody emphasized the significance of the settlement. “Plaintiffs believe this settlement provides substantial, certain recoveries for all Class members and advances gender equity at Goldman,” she said.

Jacqueline Arthur, Goldman Sachs Global Head of Human Capital Management, highlighted the company’s commitment to promoting and advancing women and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“Goldman Sachs is proud of its long record of promoting and advancing women and remains committed to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace for all our people. After more than a decade of vigorous litigation, both parties have agreed to resolve this matter. We will continue to focus on our people, our clients, and our business,” she said.

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By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Peter Page is an Editor-at-Large at Grit Daily. He is available to record live, old-school style interviews via Zoom, and run them at Grit Daily and Apple News, or BlockTelegraph for a fee.Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked as a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.

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