Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver has written a piece for the Impact Fund legal practitioner blog titled “Distinguishing Dukes: Another Victory For Employment Discrimination Class Actions.” The piece looks at the gender discrimination case Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs, No. 10-6950 (S.D.N.Y.), wherein the court recently certified a Rule 23(b)(3) class of female vice presidents and associates who challenge Goldman Sachs’ performance evaluation, compensation, and promotion processes, and explains how the Dukes’ cases limits on class actions don’t apply.
Defendant companies often argue that only non-discretionary evaluation measures, such as standardized tests or physical fitness tests, will satisfy commonality under Rule 23(a). “In Chen-Oster, all employees were subject to the same challenged processes, which were implemented firmwide using common, uniform criteria,” writes Shaver. “Therefore, the court found that Plaintiffs had identified a common mode of exercising discretion that pervaded the entire company, notwithstanding the involvement of managers making subjective recommendations.”
Lieff Cabraser serves as Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in the gender discrimination class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. The complaint alleges that Goldman Sachs has engaged in systemic and pervasive discrimination against its female professional employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York City Human Rights Law.
The complaint charges that, among other things, Goldman Sachs pays its female professionals less than similarly situated males, disproportionately promotes men over equally or more qualified women, and offers better business opportunities and professional support to its male professionals.
About the Impact Fund
The Impact Fund is an organization whose mission is to provide grants, advocacy and education to support impact litigation on behalf of marginalized communities seeking economic, environmental, racial, and social justice. Learn more at https://www.impactfund.org/
About Anne Shaver
Anne Shaver is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office with a practice focusing on employment law cases. Anne has taken a leading role in gender class action lawsuits that challenge business practices and work cultures at some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, including Google, Goldman Sachs, and KPMG. Ms. Shaver’s passion for upholding worker rights has most recently been focused on gender discrimination “impact litigation,” where she represents clients seeking to alter core business practices in ways that transform not just individual companies, but entire industries.