An out executive fired by Goldman Sachs has now sued the banking firm, claiming he faced discrimination for being gay.
William Littleton, who led the company’s internal LGBTQ network, said he was fired after filing complaints about a discriminatory atmosphere in the workplace, according to CNBC.
Littleton filed a lawsuit in New York state court on Wednesday. The complaint called his termination a “blatant act of retaliation.”
Over the course of his time at the firm, Littleton said he has been excluded from calls because he “sounded too gay,” according to the New York Daily News, and had once been confronted by a colleague who said, “What’s wrong with you? Do you act this way because you’re gay?”
A complaint he previously filed internally about discrimination in the workplace was deemed unsubstantiated, his lawsuit says.
Littleton worked for Goldman Sachs for eight years and received glowing performance reviews through most of his time, his complaint claims. By 2017, he had been promoted to vice president. But once he formally raised a complaint about discrimination, the situation shifted and he was fired for “performance issues.”
In the complaint, Littleton specifically names his supervisor Sirion Skulpone, who he first approached about problems before being told “that sucks.” He also singles out Skulpone’s supervisor, Rachel Schnoll, who looked at the specific concerns but did nothing before Littleton made his complaints, he alleges in the suit.
Attorneys for Littleton said in a written statement the case shows Wall Street still has a long way to go when it comes to creating a welcome atmosphere for LGBTQ employees.
“Wall Street continues to struggle to create an environment that is inclusive and accepting,” said attorney David Gottlieb. “Mr. Littleton’s experiences demonstrate that Goldman Sachs in particular has failed to embrace this important responsibility.”