In a lawsuit filed against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. the investment bank is accused of covering up sexual harassment and retaliating against workers who report unacceptable behavior. The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 26 by attorneys representing a former Goldman Sachs executive in New York. The woman behind the lawsuit says that the investment bank forced her out after she raised concerns about the conduct of a fellow executive despite her 10 years of exemplary service.
The lawsuit names two of the bank’s most senior legal officers. One of these individuals is accused of trying to use his position to coerce another bank employee to enter into a sexual relationship. The other is alleged to have tried to cover up the incident by conducting an investigation that was primarily designed to spare the bank and its senior executives from embarrassment. The alleged harasser returned to work after the investigation was over. His alleged victim sought employment elsewhere.
The woman claims in her lawsuit that she was forced out of the bank after speaking up on behalf of the alleged victim. When asked about the lawsuit, a Goldman Sachs representative denied the allegations and said that the bank was committed to providing its employees with a safe and supportive work environment. The representative also said that the bank tried to accommodate the woman by offering her a transfer to another location.
Sexual harassment cases
The victims of sexual harassment are often reluctant to take action when their harassers are senior executives and they are worried that nobody will believe them. Attorneys with employment law experience could explain that companies often choose to settle these matters discretely when presented with evidence of inappropriate behavior to avoid negative publicity and protect their reputations. Evidence that could prompt an employer to settle a sexual harassment claim include detailed accounts of the conduct in question and copies of unwelcome emails or text messages.