Ex-Goldman Sachs recruiting head sues bank for $1.3m, claiming it pushed him so hard he developed a major depressive disorder and heart issues


An ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boss sued the bank for more than £1 million ($1.3 million) in London after alleging a “chaotic” working environment pushed him into a mental and physical health crisis. 

Ian Dodd, 55-years-old, Goldman’s global head of recruiting in London between 2018 and 2021, claims in the suit that he developed a major depressive disorder and heart issues after being subjected to impossible demands and excessive working hours. Dodd sued the bank as part of a personal injury claim for “physical and psychiatric injuries” and a full trial date has been set for the start of 2025.

“His onerous workload and the associated stress and uncertainty that he faced when working unreasonable and excessive hours, together with the failure of the defendant’s senior leadership partners to provide him with adequate support, culminated in him wanting to take his own life,” lawyers for Dodd said in documents filed at the the High Court made public this week. 

Goldman’s working conditions have come under scrutiny in recent years with allegations of extreme hours impacting employees health. Junior bankers complained in 2021 of working 100-hour weeks and “inhumane” conditions. Wall Street banks have long had a culture of long hours but Goldman has tried to shake off these complaints with innovative measures including letting senior staff take unlimited vacation.  

“If he felt pressure, it was self-generated; it was not imposed on him. If he did work excessive hours, this was not because it was required or expected of him,” Goldman’s lawyers said in defense documents. A spokesperson for the investment bank said the claims have “no merit.”

Lawyers for Dodd said he started to feel burnt out by April 2019 and he wasn’t supported in managing his workload. He was working over 80 hours per week, excluding traveling time. He said he was forced to sleep in a hotel for three days a week while he was in London instead of taking the 50 minute train home to meet the demands. A senior manager told him it was unacceptable and “an MD should not be working junior banker hours.”

His lawyers also said Goldman allowed an environment of dysfunctional and bullying behavior to flourish, according to the documents. Dodd said that many of his colleagues were “worn down and emotional” and cried to him, although he was never provided with support for these emotional encounters.

Dodd’s lawyers didn’t respond to a request for a comment. 

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