“When women began bringing class actions against large institutions in various industries, businesses and professions, the ‘ol boys club, which excluded women, harassed them, and paid them at a lower rate than men. began to crumble.” We said this on March 11th and said further that “[i]t seems now that the venture capital industry is next on the block, having recently been targeted by women, who are not well-represented in what has been called the ‘clubby world’ of Silicon Valley.”
Then, last week, there was “a major victory for employers, [in which] a New York federal circuit court decided that an employer with a mandatory arbitration agreement with Goldman Sachs can require an employee to go to arbitration on a Title VII class action because Title VII contains no substantive right to pursue a pattern-or-practice sex-bias claim.” Most commentators agreed that this was a big victory for employers because it makes it easier for companies to force employees seeking class-action status to instead go individually into arbitration.
That this is so is confirmed in a post on Fierce Finance. The author writes that when the case was filed against Goldman Sachs, “it seemed to suggest that the old boom-boom-room culture on Wall Street had yet to truly be banished.” Now, with the new court decision, a Bloomberg columnist was quoted as saying that "[the employee] ‘can kiss her chances of victory goodbye. Arbitration is where plaintiffs’ dreams go to die, which is probably why it was in her Goldman Sachs employment contract.’”
The Bloomberg columnist further noted that the employee is "not likely to win in arbitration, and what they are asking for on the culture side may come about only when the dominant culture becomes female. As for pay, there’s more hope. We can’t outlaw corporate parties at strip clubs. But we can at least make it illegal to pay the women less than men for comparable work. The women forced to attend these parties shouldn’t make less money than the horndogs who organize them."
Strong sentiments from a columnist who clearly does not approve of the court ruling.