Goldman Sachs Discriminates Against Black & Jewish Executive Employee
New York, NY – Goldman Sachs vice president Rebecca Allen, who is black and Jewish, sued the firm and one of its managing directors for racial discrimination and religious discrimination on August 16, 2017, saying her efforts to land Allergan’s CEO Brent Saunders as a client was dashed because of the partner’s prejudice against her. According to her complaint, “the discrimination committed against Ms. Allen should comes as no surprise given that the Bank has virtually no Black presence in its leadership.” Moreover, her complaint stated that she faced various discriminatory comments at Goldman Sachs “based on the fact that she is Jewish, including various inquiries clearly designed to determine ‘how Jewish’ Ms. Allen is, given that she is Black.”

Goldman hired Ms. Allen into its private wealth management division in 2012, according to the suit, and since that time, “despite her outstanding work product and results… [she] has been discriminated against in myriad ways throughout her employment.” As an example, when clients were redistributed among her team members after a left the company, Goldman gave Ms. Allen “substantially fewer and less valuable clients” than her male colleagues.

In another example, Ms. Allen worked for three years on a potential client relationship with Saunders, the head of the drug giant Allergan, who “expressed interest in committing significant assets to” the private wealth management division because of her efforts. However, last November, she “was abruptly removed from the Saunders relationship without explanation.” Ms. Allen’s complaint alleges that Christina Minnis, a partner in Goldman’s investment banking division removed her in and eventually took over the account. Such removal allegedly cost Ms. Allen $300,000 in compensation annually.

Allen’s direct supervisor, Corey Jassem confronted Ms. Minnis about the removal. In confirmation that Ms. Minnis took Ms. Allen off for unlawful reasons, “Mr. Jassem told Ms. Allen that Ms. Minnis had made an anti-Semitic comment during the conversation and said ‘all this racist stuff'” suggesting that Ms. Minnis removed her from the relationship because she is Black and Jewish.

Naturally, Goldman Sachs denies that there is any merit to Ms. Allen’s claims of discrimination. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman stated in response that, “Our success depends on our ability to maintain a diverse employee base and we are focused on recruiting, retaining and promoting diverse professionals at all levels.”

Ms. Allen’s lawyers said in a statement, “It is inconceivable that Goldman Sachs holds itself out as being a diverse employer when [its 32-person] management team includes only one Black employee.” “Not surprisingly, as a result, the entire leadership of the Bank and the Private Wealth Management Division is virtually devoid of color, and, according to the Complaint filed earlier today, critical decisions regarding which professionals will cover a client are made not based on ability, but rather on the basis of race… We are confident that with the filing of this complaint, other Black employees or those that were denied a position at Goldman will step forward so that we can expose what is really happening behind the closed doors with regard to the denial of opportunity for entrance and advancement for qualified Black individuals.”

Employees and job applicants are protected under the law from unlawful employment decisions and treatment based on their race and religion. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects not only people who belong to major organized religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, but also others with sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Likewise, for employees living in the State of New York, or New York City, there are additional protections. Goldman Sachs potentially violated Federal law along with various New York State and New York City laws that protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.

The experienced New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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