A former executive is taking Goldman Sachs's London office to court in a high-profile £1 million lawsuit, alleging that his role led to mental health issues and describing the bank's workplace as "dysfunctional," characterised by emotionally charged meetings often resulting in tears.
Ian Dodd, aged 55, the former global head of recruiting at Goldman Sachs International, has initiated the lawsuit against the bank in London. He alleged that his position led to mental health challenges due to "working excessive hours," as stated in High Court documents.
Dodd commenced his role at Goldman Sachs's London office in November 2018 but started experiencing health issues in 2019, eventually departing in 2021.
The lawsuit has emerged in a climate of increased attention on Goldman's work environment, leading the bank to initiate reforms. Last year, Goldman informed its top-tier bankers that they could take unlimited vacation days to ensure they have the opportunity to "rest and recharge."
According to Financial Times, the bank refuted his allegation and contested the lawsuit. A case management hearing was scheduled for December, during which a trial schedule was expected to be established.
Goldman filed a comprehensive defence in the High Court, refuting Dodd's claims. “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”, Goldman’s defence filing reads.
“It is denied that there was a ‘culture of divisiveness’ or unpleasant infighting at the Defendant, whether as alleged or at all. It also denied claims that sobbing through meetings was common,” the filing read further.
In its legal defence submission to the court, the bank refuted the accusations of "general agitation" among its staff and rejected the notion of a "culture of bullying within the defendant."
In its High Court defense submission, Goldman highlights that Dodd had written to his line manager in November 2018, expressing that while his initial days had been intense, they had "reaffirmed why Goldman Sachs is a wonderful place for me to be right now."
In its defence document, the bank asserts that Dodd "was not obligated to work excessive hours" and further states that Dodd was "given appropriate and reasonable guidance and support." Additionally, the bank denied any knowledge or awareness that the Claimant was experiencing health issues.