- William Littleton says he was fired after complaining to HR
- Banker says he was kept off client call for sounding ‘too gay’
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued Wednesday by a former vice president who claims the bank discriminated against him for being gay and then fired him after he complained about it.
William Littleton, who worked on the Specialty Solutions team within Goldman’s Product Strategy Group, claims he was fired after eight years of superior performance reviews and despite holding a position of leadership among gay and lesbian employees at the firm.
Among the mistreatment alleged in the lawsuit, Littleton said he was excluded from a call with a Goldman client because “he sounded too gay,” and a supervisor once asked, “What’s wrong with you? Do you act this way because you’re gay?”
Littleton, 31, claims his experience demonstrates “larger institutional problems” at Goldman. “Unfortunately, Mr. Littleton’s termination at Goldman is not an isolated incident or exception to the rule at the bank or on Wall Street more broadly,” according to the complaint in New York state court.
The bank said the suit is “without merit” and called the claims “baseless.”
“Goldman Sachs has a sustained and proven commitment to diversity, and we are proud of the vibrant and diverse LGBTQ community at the firm,” spokesman Patrick Scanlan said in a statement. “We strongly encourage all of our employees to bring their authentic selves to work, because it makes us a better firm.”
Goldman has scored a perfect 100 since 2004 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which measures a company’s overall internal and external support of LGBT workers.