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Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by five computer-network technicians who claim the bank denied them overtime pay for their work as contractors.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified damages, Goldman Sachs said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs contend they deserve overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.

Goldman Sachs’s conduct was “willful and in bad faith,” according to the technicians, who say the bank never paid them overtime for work weeks that topped 70 hours. More than 100 employees in New York and New Jersey were underpaid as a result, according to the lawsuit filed in May.

Goldman Sachs, based in New York, disputed the allegations in a July 16 filing, saying the technicians weren’t “employees” as defined by the states’ labor laws. About 25 percent of Goldman Sachs’s staff works on technology, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said earlier this year.

“Technology is fundamental to everything we do, from revenue-producing activities to enabling much of the control infrastructure of the firm,” Viniar said in a presentation to investors on Feb. 10.

In July 2009, Goldman Sachs started including consultants and temporary staff in quarterly employee numbers. The change prompted the firm to revise its employee total to 29,800 at the end of March 2009, up from 27,898 when the figure included only full-time staff.

The case is Bardouille v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 10cv4285, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: William McQuillen in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at

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