Goldman Sachs is rushing to settle a class-action lawsuit scheduled for next month that alleges the bank discriminated against women employees, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.
The lender discussed a settlement that could reach around $200 million with attorneys representing Cristina Chen-Oster and other employees, Bloomberg reported.
The two sides might not reach an agreement before the trial in the Southern District of New York begins in June, another person told the publication under request of anonymity.
The plaintiffs also include more than 1,000 former and current Goldman employees.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment to Bloomberg.
The lawsuit, first filed in 2010, accused the Wall Street giant of “intentional discrimination, disparate impact discrimination, retaliation, and pregnancy discrimination” against female employees — allegations the bank has denied, Bloomberg noted.
Women were paid less than their male counterparts in the same rank, and they got lesser opportunities to move up the ranks, the complaint argued.
The case comprises women in associate and vice president positions employed by Goldman Sachs in the investment banking, investment management, and securities divisions in the U.S. from September 2004 and in New York City from July 2002.
The plaintiffs claim Goldman prefers to promote male employees and move them up over equally ranked and more qualified women, which leads to the underrepresentation of women in the higher ranks.
The lawsuit alleges that “violations of its female employees’ rights” hinge on “companywide policies and practices, and are the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades Goldman Sachs’ corporate culture,” the Journal said.
Goldman took note of the underrepresentation issue, which has improved since the lawsuit was filed more than a decade ago. Now, there are more women in the lender’s management committee, the Journal reported.
The plaintiffs also went on to claim a boy’s club environment in the company, which the court said would require individual inquiry and cannot be categorized under a class action.
Depositions by former CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former President Gary Cohn are part of the court proceedings.
Goldman’s prior efforts to decertify the class have failed.