The Employment Tribunal is to hear a discrimination case brought by an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst against his former employer. The hearing will take place at London Central Employment Tribunal, Kingsway, London with evidence beginning on Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 10am and is expected to last until 17th January. 

Kwasi Afrifa, 32, from Brixton, was diagnosed with a form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, when he was 20. He is bringing a legal claim against global investment bank Goldman Sachs for disability discrimination, arguing that the firm failed to accommodate his condition and forced him out of his job.

He began his role at Goldman Sachs in September 2014, following an internship in summer 2014. He had also interned in 2012 and had told the bank about his ADHD diagnosis at that time.

Kwasi raised his condition again in August 2015 with occupational health and in November 2015 he reiterated to his managers the impact that it would have on his work. He argues in his case that his disability makes certain presentational tasks more difficult because of impaired concentration which can lead to typographical errors. He suffered from a period of insomnia in late 2016 which he will argue in his case was worsened by the attitude and actions taken by the bank who had refused since he began employment to provide any adjustments for his disability.

Kwasi feels that his attempts to engage with his employer to implement adjustments for his ADHD were ignored and dismissed.

He will argue that the types of adjustment he had requested were no more than relatively cheap and simple resource solutions that would have provided a level playing field with his colleagues in the bank, which reported a 2017 profit of $4.3 billion. One of the rejected adjustments included using Adobe Reader to transcribe documents rather than transcribing manually. It is Kwasi’s case that relevant senior management continued to insist upon labour intensive, manual methods of working, even once they had been informed of its effect on his condition.

Kwasi will argue the reason that he had received no increase in pay and no bonuses was directly linked to his condition and the lack of reasonable adjustments provided. Kwasi was placed on sick leave in January 2017. He had recovered from his insomnia condition by May 2017 and asked repeatedly for reasonable adjustments to be made so he could return to his job. These continued to be denied and following a long grievance process he resigned from Goldman Sachs in May 2018. Kwasi will argue in his legal case that his former bosses have denied him the future career he would have had in banking and investments in the future through their conduct, which could amount to several million pounds in loss of future earnings.

The Employment Tribunal originally heard the case in February 2019 but the case had to be stopped because a member of the tribunal panel died before a judgment had been given. The tribunal then ordered a fresh trial on the case.

Mike Cain, employment solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said:

“Despite the employer being a multibillion dollar bank there is nothing special about this case in terms of disability discrimination. All UK employers are legally obliged to empower disabled staff and our client believes this simply did not happen for him at Goldman Sachs. We look forward to presenting his case to the Employment Tribunal.”