Tinder exec. resigns amid settlement of sexual harassment suit

Posted in Sexual Harassment,Sexual Harassment by Industry on September 13, 2014

In July, we wrote about a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee and co-founder of Tinder, a tech company that makes the dating app of the same name. One of the reasons this lawsuit received so much media attention is that it highlights two very common problems in California’s tech industry: Gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

The plaintiff alleged that she was one of Tinder’s founding members, yet she was stripped of her co-founder title. She also alleged that after breaking up with a boyfriend who was a fellow Tinder employee, her ex began harassing her with “sexist, racist and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages.” When she complained, her complaints were ignored and she was pressured to resign.

Thankfully, this story has come to a happy ending – or at least an appropriate resolution. Earlier this month, it was announced that the sexual harassment lawsuit has been settled and the Tinder employee who allegedly harassed the plaintiff has resigned.

Commenting on the settlement, the plaintiff’s attorney noted that his client “is proud to be a co-founder of Tinder and of the role that she played in the app’s success. She is now pleased to be able to focus her energy, talents, and ideas on exciting new opportunities.”

Although sexual harassment allegations have traditionally been a matter of “he said/she said” in court, it is harder for sexual harassers to avoid leaving a trail of evidence now that we’re in the digital age. According to news reports, the plaintiff provided evidence of the harassment that included screen grabs of emails and text messages sent by her harasser.

Hopefully, the publicity that accompanied this lawsuit will help improve working conditions for women struggling in similarly hostile work environments in the tech industry.

Source: USA Today, “(https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/09/09/tinder-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-settled-justin-maheen/15346281/) Tinder settles sexual harassment suit, executive resigns,” Jessica Guynn, Sept. 9, 2014