A former Goldman Sachs vice president sued the company on Wednesday, alleging that he was discriminated against because he is gay. The suit further alleges that he was fired in 2018 shortly after complaining to Goldman’s employee relations department about the discrimination.
William Littleton’s complaint alleges that he was excluded from a client call in 2014 because “he sounds too gay” and that a supervisor asked him “What’s wrong with you? Do you act this way because you’re gay” after a disagreement in 2016. He did not report either incident to Goldman’s employee relations department.
Littleton did report an incident in May 2018 after being encouraged by another LGBT Goldman employee. A supervisor allegedly told him that “You look so Miami today.” Littleton, who is Latino, took this as an attack on his sexual orientation and ethnic identity, according to the suit. He was fired for “performance issues” in his annual review in November 2018, and had his last day at the company in January.
“Goldman Sachs has a sustained and proven commitment to diversity, and we are proud of the vibrant and diverse LGBTQ community at the firm,” a Goldman spokesman said on a statement. “We strongly encourage all of our employees to bring their authentic selves to work, because it makes us a better firm.”
The statement added: “This suit is without merit and we plan to defend ourselves against these baseless claims.”
Littleton joined Goldman in 2010 after graduating from Amherst College. He was promoted four times. The suit alleges that he received high ratings in all of his reviews at the firm, and that his peer reviews in 2018 were similarly positive. Littleton was openly and vocally involved in Goldman’s LGBT Network since 2012.
Only 1% of Goldman’s 2018 partner class self-identified as LGBT, according to a firm press release.