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Tinder lawsuit spurs debate on sexist culture in tech companies

Category: Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment

There are certain industries in which sexual harassment and misconduct seems to be more prevalent. Whether it actually is occurring more in these areas or the claims that are filed are more widely reportedly, it seems as though workers in these industries are often confronted with harassment.

One such industry might very well be the technology industry. California is home to many of these companies so it is unfortunately not uncommon for workers in this state –particularly women — to be witnesses to or victims of sexual harassment on the job. A recent lawsuit filed by the former VP of marketing for Tinder, a mobile dating app, is just the latest lawsuit to shed light on an apparent pattern of harassment and sexist behavior in this industry.

The former marketing VP of the company filed a lawsuit stating that she was repeatedly the victim of abuse and harassment by the co-founder of Tinder, who was recently suspended only after news of the lawsuit was widely reported. Further, she claims that the misconduct was largely ignored by the CEO and essentially condoned by the company.

During her employment, the woman and the co-founder were romantically involved. After they broke up, however, he started verbally abusing her in meetings and messages. Her significant contributions to the company were overlooked and her role in the company was marginalized, she says, because of her gender. When she complained about the mistreatment, she alleges that the company simply looked the other way. She ultimately quit when the CEO allegedly threatened to fire her and destroy future employment opportunities.

This case is certainly not the only one to cite such behaviors in the tech industry, which is dominated by male leaders and employees. Many companies, including Snapchat and GitHub, have been accused of sexist behaviors and practices that put women in the position of being subjected to harassment and discrimination.

But no matter what industry a person is in, it is important to remember that there are laws in place to protect workers from being mistreated on the job. Taking legal action can be an effective means of shedding light on a troubling pattern of misconduct, and successful claims can result in compensation for the victims of unlawful behaviors.

Source: Forbes, “IAC Suspends Tinder Co-Founder After Sex Harassment Lawsuit,” Jeff Bercovici, July 1, 2014

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