The dating app Tinder, often touted as female-friendly, may have done more than create a blaze of hook-ups, relationships and broken hearts for its users. The cooling of passions between two of the app’s co-founders and other alleged bad behavior by Tinder co-founders may have resulted in discrimination, sexual harassment and a host of other labor and employment law violations.
Recently, Whitney Wolfe, the co-founder who sparked the idea for Tinder’s name, filed a lawsuit against Tinder, Match.com and IAC, Inc. alleging that co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen subjected her to a work environment so icy that she was forced to quit. Although Wolfe and Mateen were romantically involved at one point, the complaint alleges that Mateen soon became hostile toward Wolfe, subjecting her to a barrage of misogynistic and racist texts. Wolfe also claims that Rad and Mateen intentionally downplayed her role in the founding of the company because she was a “girl” and her gender would make the company look like an “accident.”
The San Francisco based Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP represents Wolfe. No word as of yet who will represent Tinder, Match.com and IAC, Inc.
Although the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw a decrease in sex discrimination cases, which includes sexually harassment, claims of other forms of discrimination were on the rise indicating that discrimination lawsuits will increase through 2014 keeping labor and employment lawyers busy, whether they work in BigLaw or as solo practitioners.
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