Goldman faces trial in massive gender discrimination lawsuit

US District Judge Analisa Torres denied Goldman Sachs' request to appeal an earlier ruling on which women could sue. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Goldman Sachs Group faces a June 5 trial next year in a long-simmering gender-bias class action alleging the bank discriminated against thousands of women in pay and promotion.

United States District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan set the 2023 date in an order on Monday (Aug 22). If the trial goes ahead as scheduled, it would be 13 years after the closely watched suit was filed and 18 years after the lead plaintiff first complained about discrimination at the bank to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

But the judge in her order on Monday narrowed the class in the case, agreeing with Goldman Sachs that women who were not employed at the bank long enough to be subject to certain review processes at issue in the case should not be included. She also said certain wealth managers not subject to those reviews and women who had been ranked in the top quintile were not damaged by alleged bias and should be excluded.

Judge Torres denied Goldman Sachs' request to appeal an earlier ruling on which women could sue. The judge said she can "easily redefine the class" to take into account any remaining issues about who has legal standing to make claims in the case.

"We are pleased with the decision and look forward to the trial," said Mr Adam Klein, a lawyer for the women.

Goldman Sachs had no immediate comment on the ruling.

Lead plaintiff Cristina Chen-Oster, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, first complained about her treatment at Goldman Sachs to the EEOC in 2005, then sued five years later. The suit claimed that the bank permitted its managers to make biased pay and promotion decisions, systematically denying women opportunities that they deserved.

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