'HR did nothing' | Goldman Sachs boss 'BRAIN DAMAGED intern in hazing ritual'

Goldman Sachs boss 'BRAIN DAMAGED intern in hazing ritual'

A Goldman Sachs intern was allegedly subjected to a ‘hazing ritual’ so brutal that he was left with lasting brain damage, it has been reported.

According to the Daily Mail, Patrick Blumenthal claims he was put in a chokehold in a bar by his boss, Julius Erukhimov, and held until he passed out and urinated on himself.

It was also claimed that HR executives didn’t take any disciplinary action against the boss after the incident was reported to them, and instead “swept this brutal attack under the rug.”

The alleged incident took place while Blumenthal interned for Goldman Sachs in San Francisco in February 2018, when he was 21-years-old.

Read more from us

The firm has now reached a settlement with Blumenthal, as reported by Bloomberg, which came a week before a hearing on the investment bank's request to dismiss the lawsuit. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

'Goldman Sachs has no comment on this matter,' said Maeve DuVally, a spokeswoman for the bank said.

'Thought he was going to die'

According to documents in the lawsuit, the hazing is reported to have taken place in a San Francisco bar, where Blumenthal and several colleagues had met for a drink. During the evening, the intern’s boss, Erukhimov, allegedly told him he would 'teach him how to drink’ before apparently punching him in the stomach and asking him to punch him back.

Blumenthal declined, then Erukhimov punched him again, wrestled with him then dragged him outside in a chokehold, The Mail wrote.

Erukhimov allegedly held him 'so long' in the choke hold that he “thought he was going to die.”

Blumenthal said that none of his colleagues stepped in to break things up, and that senior managing directors “simply sat and watched the brutal attack unfold.”

Blumenthal passed out and urinated on himself in what his lawyers said was “a bodily response to prolonged oxygen deprivation.”

Two days later, Blumenthal went to the hospital, where he claimed he was diagnosed with a “haemorrhagic stroke.”

In his suit, Blumenthal said that he continues to suffer from “PTSD, mental anguish, a brain injury, and physical pain which may be permanent.”

Further allegations in that lawsuit show that Blumenthal reported the incident to an HR executive a month after it occurred and received a response that HR had “taken actions we have deemed appropriate.”

However, he said he was never interviewed about the incident and claimed Goldman Sachs “swept this brutal attack under the rug and never spoke of it again.”

The bank said that Blumenthal did not reply to an offer of an interview regarding the incident – a claim disputed by lawyers.

“No disciplinary measures were ever taken by Goldman Sachs, thereby approving and ratifying Julius' conduct,” the court filing claimed.

The Daily Mail reported that Erukhimov was no longer employed at Goldman Sachs but that, according to his LinkedIn, he now works at J.P. Morgan in San Francisco, as a vice president.

How HR can combat bullying

In light of these accusations, it shines a light on bullying in the workplace and separate data has pointed towards its unfortunate prevalence.

For example, research compiled by TUC in 2015, claimed that a third of the UK workforce has experienced bullying.

More recently, 2020 data conducted by Key Law – and reported on by THIS – found that over a third of employees in the UK revealed that they have experienced or witnessed bullying at work over the past three years.

As such, it is important for employers and HR to think about how they can combat bullying in the workplace.

Mark Allan, Commercial Director at Bupa UK Insurance previously explained that companies, amid the ongoing disruption, must keep aware of the complex employee landscape and be aware of how miscommunication, misinterpretation and isolation can hit employees.

He previously explained: “There is no place for bullying or discrimination in any organisation, whether that’s hiding behind a screen or face-to-face.

“Employers have the same duty of care for their workers whether they’re in the office or at home. Therefore creating a culture where employees feel able to speak up if they experience any problems, is absolutely key.

“We strongly believe that allowing employees to be themselves without fear of bullying or discrimination is crucial in enabling people to thrive at work,” Allan added.

Encourage open dialogue

Alison Unsted, Deputy CEO at the City Mental Health Alliance, previously said: “It’s crucial that organisations demonstrate commitment to action from senior leadership by nominating a mental health and wellbeing lead at Board or senior leadership level to drive sustainable change and influence healthy business culture.

“And a big part of leading this change is by encouraging an open dialogue. This can start with leaders being more open about how they are feeling and how they look after their own wellbeing, which we have increasingly seen during the pandemic. This signals that this business has an open culture and signals that this business cares about mental health,” Unsted concluded.

There's more in-depth analysis of workplace culture available exclusively for myGrapevine+ members. You can try it now for just £1*

*Monthly memberships only. Billed via Credit/Debit card at £1 for first month, then £22.99 per month if not cancelled. One time use only. Your membership renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.

Comments (1)

  • Layla
    Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:55pm BST
    My god.. how can this happen in this day and age? Seems they are very behind the curve in treatment of employees. I've read so many damning stories about them now.. how utterly terrifying that this happens and the culprit is still in an executive position...

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.