Published: Sep 15, 2010 7:16 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 15, 2010 4:17 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -Three former female employees of Goldman Sachs & Co. are suing the big Wall Street firm for what they say is rampant gender discrimination that unfairly favors men in pay and promotions.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the three women alleges that Goldman has violated federal and New York City laws by engaging in a systematic "pattern and practice" of discrimination against female professionals at the firm. They are asking a federal judge to certify the case as a class-action suit on behalf of the firm's women employees.

The three, who were a vice president, a managing director and an associate, also are seeking damages from Goldman for emotional distress they say they've suffered and for lost income.