Ex-VP Charges Goldman With Putting Her on "Mommy Track"

March 24, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A major investment bank has been sued for keeping a former vice president on a “mommy track.”

According to Reuters, the lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc was filed in Manhattan federal court by Charlotte Hanna, who said she worked at Goldman Sachs University, an orientation program for new analysts, associates and summer interns.

Hanna alleged that after her 2005 return from her first maternity leave, Goldman demoted her and made her feel unwelcome in what had become a “boys-only” club, according to the report.  She said she was fired in February 2009, a week before she was to return from a second maternity leave.

“When Ms. Hanna decided to take the ‘off-ramp’ provided by the firm to devote time to her children, there was no ‘on-ramp’ that enabled her to return to full-time employment,” the complaint said, according to the report. “Essentially, the ‘off-ramp’ was a direct path to a mommy-track that ultimately derailed Ms. Hanna’s career.”

According to the complaint, Hanna joined Goldman in 1998 as an associate, was promoted to vice president two years later, and received strong praise for her work.  Reuters reports that the complaint said she took advantage of a Goldman program letting her work part-time upon returning from her first maternity leave in February 2005.  Reuters said that, upon her return, Hanna allegedly hit a “glass ceiling” with respect to pay and advancement, was demoted, and was systematically excluded from operations and social functions.  The complaint said 75% of those “selected for termination” in her group had recently taken maternity leave.

The case is Hanna v. Goldman Sachs & Co et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-02637.