LGBT workers continue to face discrimination on the job in New Jersey, even when they are in high-powered and highly compensated positions. For example, one former Goldman Sachs banker is suing the Wall Street firm after being fired. A leader in the company’s LGBT network, the man says that he was fired in retaliation for his claims about discriminatory treatment and homophobia in the workplace. The lawsuit accuses the investment bank of paying “lip service” to diversity and LGBT equality while discrimination continues in practice on the job.
The openly gay former banker said that he received positive performance reviews and continuing promotions for eight years at the bank, a positive trajectory that slowed and stopped when he complained about workplace discrimination based on his sexual orientation. He says that he was subject to retaliation for complaining to the company’s employee relations team about a number of incidents in the workplace. For example, he says that he was excluded from a key conference call with a client because a supervisor said that he “sounded too gay.” He said that shortly after this report, he received a negative performance evaluation that was unwarranted and unexpected, followed thereafter by his termination from the job.
The company has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit but said in a statement that it is committed to diversity and proud of the bank’s strong LGBT community. In the past, Goldman Sachs had been praised for its public embrace of LGBT workers, including receiving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index.
Of course, the public profile of a major company does not always reflect its internal realities, especially for workers facing discrimination or harassment. People who are subject to workplace discrimination because of their sexual orientation may want to contact an employment law attorney about their options.