Goldman Sachs slapped with $1.1M lawsuit over ‘culture of bullying’

A former Goldman Sachs employee is accusing the investment bank of fostering a “culture of bullying” where workers “sobbed through meetings” in a $1.1 million lawsuit filed in London.

Ian Dodd — who worked in Goldman’s London offices as the bank’s global head of recruiting from 2018 to 2021 — argued in his suit that the company’s “dysfunctional” workplace led to his own mental breakdown, according to court documents obtained by the Financial Times.

He said in the filing that meetings were characterized by “high emotions, often tears,” according to FT, and he was expected to “work excessive hours.”

The high-stress environment caused Dodd, 55, to reportedly fall ill in 2019 — one year after joining the firm — though he didn’t quit until two years later.

Dodd claimed that it was common behavior for staffers to talk about their colleagues receiving a “slap” or “punch,” and said that he overheard comments such as “take that as your first punch in the face,” FT reported.

Goldman Sachs denied Dodd’s allegations in a defense document filed in London’s High Court, according to the outlet.

“As with many workplaces, there were occasions when colleagues were upset, for a variety of reasons (sometimes unconnected with work and sometimes connected with work), but it is denied that such instances were frequent or usual,” the bank said in the filing, which was obtained by FT.

Goldman Sachs’ former global head of recruiting accused the investment bank’s “dysfunctional” workplace for giving him a mental breakdown during his four-year stint at the firm in a $1.1 million lawsuit filed in London’s High Court.

“It is denied that there was a ‘culture of divisiveness’ or unpleasant infighting at the Defendant, whether as alleged or at all,” the court documents added.

Goldman also said that Dodd was incorrect in claiming that workers often “sobbed through meetings” or that there was a “consistently high level of emotion.”

Representatives for Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

The Wall Street behemoth has previously been criticized for its harsh work culture.

Last week, sources told The Post that Marc Nachmann — a hard-charging banker who CEO David Solomon last October named global head of the Asset and Wealth Management division — has seen a string of top executives flee on his watch.

Nachmann has alienated some of his most experienced executives who describe him as “cold hearted” and “a one-man show,” sources said. These people add that Nachmann — who has built a reputation for slashing costs — is liked by Solomon but not by the people who work for him.

Partners and staffers alike reportedly aren’t thrilled with Solomon’s sharp-elbowed management style, either, reportedly testing the loyalty of his No. 2 executive, John Waldron.

As partners grow increasingly frustrated over their skimpy bonuses, Solomon’s private jet use, and his side hustle as a DJ, they’re left wondering if Waldron will be able to step out of Solomon’s shadow and forge his own path.

Earlier this year, Goldman staged a “culture fair” to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion that staffers called “ironic” as it took place the same week Goldman agreed to pay $215 million to settle a 13-year-old sex discrimination suit in which 2,800 female employees had alleged they were systematically denied pay and promotions. 

Dodd's lawsuit is hardly the first time the bank has been criticized for its toxic work culture. Lately, senior staffers are reportedly turning to CEO David Solomon's No. 2 exec after receiving skimpy bonuses despite their long hours.
Dodd’s lawsuit is hardly the first time the bank has been criticized for its toxic work culture. Lately, senior staffers are reportedly turning to CEO David Solomon’s No. 2 exec after receiving skimpy bonuses despite their long hours.

The “fair” was positioned right next to a pop-up that sold company-branded merchandise including Goldman-branded hats, golf balls, duffel bags, and Patagonia vests – dubbed “Fratagonias” by some skeptical employees.

“I guess they are celebrating the Goldman culture of treating execs like celebrities and wearing ‘Fratagonias,” one insider sneered.

While it’s unclear how much each item retailed for, an employee said the items “weren’t going for a discount.” Patagonia vests typically retail between $110 and $180.

“I don’t know why you’d buy that, I’m not going to pay to be a walking billboard for Goldman,” the source added.

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