Ever since both the major gender discrimination lawsuit "Dukes v. Wal-Mart" and its micro versions bit the dust, there hasn't been much optimism about being able to certify a class action suit. That might change with "Chen-Oster V. Goldman Sachs & Co."
First filed in 2010 by two Goldman Sachs Group female employees, it alleges a "culture of discrimination" and a "boys club" ethos. This could become known as the Strip Club Lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim discrimination on pay and promotions. Liberal groups could rally around this just as they did with "Dukes v. Wal-Mart."
Yesterday and today U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis is hearing arguments from both sides. On the basis of those he will decide whether to certify the lawsuit as a class action one. As Bob Van Voris reports in Bloomberg:
"Chen-Oster and Orlich are seeking an order permitting them to represent all women associates and vice presidents who worked in the firm's investment banking, investment management and securities divisions since 2004 and in New York since 2002."
The pragmatic problem with the "boy's club" antics like recreating in alleged strip clubs is that they shut females out of networking. Everything is contacts. And contacts are made socializing in an industry that plays as hard as it works. In addition, when part of an "animal house" night at the strip club you can get dirt on a colleague. That makes that colleague "owe you." Power and influence get piled up in many many ways. Knowing who did what when is one of them.