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Former employee of startup sues company for harassment

Businesswomen in New York may know what it feels like to work in an environment where they are outnumbered by men. Many professions today are still heavily dominated by men, including the technology industry. There is some concern that women may be experiencing higher instances of sexual harassment and hostility in the workplace. One recent case to show up in the news involves a former executive of a dating website who is suing her ex-employer for harassment and discrimination, which the former executive says forced her out of the workplace.

The woman filing the lawsuit was one of the earlier employees of the startup company Tinder, and she was previously the vice president of marketing. The woman is suing both Tinder and its parent company IAC. According to the lawsuit, the former officer had a short-lived romantic relationship with her then-boss in 2013. She says that she was stripped of her co-founder designation after the couple split up and that her personal issues with the marketing chief were brought into the workplace.

The marketing chief allegedly removed his ex's "co-founder" title because of the fact that she was a "young woman." A spokesperson for IAC even acknowledged that the marketing chief was sending inappropriate messages to the woman, but the company claims that the ex-employee's allegations are unfounded. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that the work atmosphere at Tinder was "frat-like," and it was acceptable for male executives to make racist and sexual remarks on a regular basis.

Employees who are in a protected class and who believe that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace may want to discuss the situation with an employment law attorney. The attorney can determine whether or not there is redress available.

Source: WSJ, "Dating App Tinder Faces Sexual Harassment Suit", Evelyn Rosli, June 30, 2014

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