September 17, 2014 Category: Wrongful Termination
There are many people who have a fairly skewed idea of what pursuing a sexual harassment lawsuit looks like. Some people assume that it involves dramatic courtroom testimonies, emotional outbursts and a clear decision on who was wrong. In many situations, however, this is not the case.
Recently, for example, we wrote a blog post about a lawsuit filed by a former executive at Tinder, a mobile dating app. The widely-reported story and allegations were fairly sensational and the case spurred the national debate on sexism in technology industries. However, that lawsuit was recently settled in a much less dramatic fashion.
Sources have reported that the former executive and Tinder have reached an agreement and the case has been settled. Details regarding the amount of money that may have been paid to the former executive have not been disclosed, and the lawsuit was settled without Tinder or the parent company legally admitting to any wrongdoing.
This may seem somewhat uneventful, but it is not an unusual outcome for sexual harassment cases, especially those that thrust a popular company into the spotlight. Companies generally want to handle the matter quickly and come to a resolution as quickly as possible in order to avoid further negative publicity.
Swift resolutions like this can also benefit the victims of harassment by allowing them to avoid the stress of a trial, negotiate a satisfactory settlement and try to move forward in their lives and careers.
Of course there are times when a settlement cannot be reached and the case goes to trial where a jury or judge may be tasked with determining and measuring any wrongdoing. In some situations, this route can result in higher payouts for victims and harsher penalties for employers. However, this is not appropriate in all cases and could ultimately work against the victim.
Whether a sexual harassment claim is settled in a courtroom or in negotiations behind closed doors, the need for experienced legal counsel can be great. Attorneys can help victims manage expectations, pursue the most favorable outcome and navigate the complicated legal system.
Source: NBC News, “Tinder Executive Whitney Wolfe Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit,” Daniel Arkin, Sept. 8, 2014