Removing a hurdle that kept former Goldman Sachs employees from class certification in a gender bias suit, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that her predecessor misinterpreted Supreme Court precedent in the case alleging a “boy’s club” at the megabank.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres gave two women who used to work at Goldman Sachs the green light to pursue an injunction to repair the bank’s allegedly sexist culture under Title VII.
“Justice was served today,” their attorney Adam Klein, from the firm Outten & Golden, said in a phone interview.
Cristina Chen-Oster and four other women have been waiting seven years for their claims against Goldman Sachs to reach this stage.
Filed in 2010, the lawsuit accused the bank’s managers of sexual assault and hiring female escorts “wearing short black skirts, strapless tops, and Santa hats” for a holiday party.
Two of the plaintiffs – Allison Gamba and Mary De Lius – stumbled in getting their claims off the ground in the courtroom of the late U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand, who found that the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Walmart v. Dukes denied standing to the women.
Before he died late last year, Sand expressed “significant reservations” with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wal-Mart, though he found that precedent tied his hands in the Goldman Sachs case.
Replacing Sand in the case, Judge Torres said that her predecessor read the Wal-Mart case “too broadly.”
Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Leslie Shribman said in a statement, “We are examining the implications of the latest ruling, and we’ll continue to contest this matter vigorously.”