Goldman Sachs settle Sonia Pereiro Mendez’s Employment Tribunal discrimination claim

hmctsGoldman Sachs have settled a claim for discrimination by one of its female former executives after she alleged that she was denied millions of pounds in pay and bonuses because she was pregnant.

Sonia Pereiro-Mendez, a former debt research analyst at the bank, took Goldman Sachs and three of her bosses to an Employment Tribunal after she claimed that the Wall Street bank had refused to pay her millions of pounds in pounds that she alleged that she was owed after she revealed to management in 2010 that she was pregnant.

Mrs Pereiro-Mendez, a mother of two, claimed in her evidence that after she revealed she was pregnant in 2010 male colleagues were promoted above her, that she was “publicly mocked, that she was “subjected to gratuitous and implicitly derogatory references to her childcare arrangements, that she was excluded from key meetings, and that she was told that she was “not a significant long-term player”. It was reported that Mrs Pereiro-Mendez recorded colleagues at the firm allegedly making sexist remarks without their knowledge.

The former executive, who joined the bank in 2003 and moved to London in 2005, also claimed in evidence that her earnings at the bank “nose-dived” after she informed senior management of her pregnancy. Her basic salary was £250,000 in January 2010 but had fallen to £192,000 in January 2012, two months after she announced her pregnancy. Mrs Pereiro-Mendez also claimed that the bank failed to pay her her agreed bonus of approx 5% of the profit that she generated. She claimed that in 2011 she received £200,000, rather than the £910,000 which she claimed that she was owed; in 2012, that she was paid £284,000 rather than the £759,000 that she claimed that she was owed; and that she received no bonus at all in 2014, although she alleged she was owed £450,000 by the bank.

The claim came to the Employment Tribunal on 20 April 2015 but settled before it was due to commence. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed by either the bank or Ms Pereiro-Mendez.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman commented after the settlement was reached: “We are pleased this matter is resolved”.

Neither Ms Pereiro-Mendez nor her lawyers have commented on the settlement.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the news: “A great number of Employment Tribunal claims settle before they get to a hearing, and this is particularly the case if the parties to the litigation are running up large legal bills, if there are complicated points of fact or law, or if either of the parties believe that they risk reputational damage by the matter going to court. The terms of this settlement are probably covered by a confidentiality clause and it is probable that they will therefore not be made public.”