Goldman Sachs sued for anti-gay bias

Goldman Sachs sign at the New York Stock Exchange, January 24, 2014 – Image: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

(Reuters) – A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc vice president has renewed his lawsuit, accusing the Wall Street bank of firing him after he complained about being discriminated against because he was gay.

William Littleton filed his complaint in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, consolidating New York and federal civil rights claims he had previously filed with a New York state court and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Goldman had no immediate comment. The bank has long said it is committed to diversity and supporting LGBTQ employees.

Littleton, who said he had been one of Goldman’s most senior LGBTQ leaders, said he was once excluded from a conference call with a client because the moderator thought he “sounds too gay.”

He also said that after complaining about discrimination, his supervisors downgraded him on his 2018 annual review, and fired him effective January 31, 2019, because of what they called “performance issues” that “manifested this year.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction to ensure Goldman’s future compliance with state and federal civil rights laws.

“Goldman attempts to hold itself out – presumably for public relations purposes – as creating an environment friendly to LGBTQ employees; the reality is that the Bank does little more than provide lip-service to LGBTQ diversity,” the complaint said.

The case is Littleton v Goldman Sachs Group Inc, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-00949.

-Jonathan Stempel in New York

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