Generally speaking, employees in California can’t be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. A former Goldman Sachs employee says that he was terminated after making a discrimination complaint. The man was the leader of the company’s LGBTQ network and openly gay. According to the former employee’s lawsuit, poor marks were included in his personnel file by his superiors. It is claimed that these remarks were intended to serve as justification for his eventual termination.
An attorney for the plaintiff says that he had many years of outstanding service for the company prior to the incident. According to the former employee, he initially made a complaint after being taken off a conference call when managers claimed that he sounded too gay. In response to the lawsuit, Goldman said that it had a track record of being a diverse company.
The Human Rights Campaign gave Goldman a score of 100 out of 100 in its 2018 Corporate Equality Index. However, a 2017 report from Institutional Investor did uncover issues with how the LGBTQ community was treated by companies on Wall Street. This report was highlighted as part of the man’s lawsuit against Goldman, and it also claimed that efforts by Goldman to support the LGBTQ community were nothing more than lip service.
Individuals who are terminated because of their sexual orientation or for complaining about employment discrimination may be entitled to various forms of relief. In some cases, they may be entitled to their jobs back with full pay and benefits. In others, they may be awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
An attorney may be able to cast doubt on poor performance reviews or other evidence that an employer might use to justify a termination.
Source: CNBC, “Goldman Sachs is sued by a gay former executive who alleges sexual orientation discrimination“, Eric Rosenbaum, 06/06/2019