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Harassment claims against dating app company

Maryland residents may have heard about recent allegations of sexual harassment at the startup Tinder, a company that is known for its popular new dating app. The suit highlights similar problems that have arisen at other tech firms and within the industry in general.

The company's former vice president of marketing is alleging that she was harassed by one of the co-founders with whom she had a brief relationship and that the atmosphere at the company in general was not congenial to women. According to the suit, the woman's co-founder designation was removed after the relationship ended, and she was forced out of the company. The suit also claims that racist and sexist terms were used within the company.

Other tech companies have been tainted by sexual harassment claims as well. San Francisco-based startup GitHub denied harassment based on gender was occurring within the company after an internal investigation but acknowledged that there were problems. A leading venture capital firm also denied a former partner's allegations of an atmosphere where women could not succeed while the CEO of Snapchat recently apologized for texts he sent as a college student that were demeaning toward women.

Women who feel that they may have been the focus of discrimination or harassment at work based on their gender may wish to speak with an attorney. While this type of discrimination can happen anywhere, the tech industry is seen as a particularly potentially unfriendly industry toward women. Documenting harassment including saving emails and texts and demonstrating ways in which an individual was denied raises, promotions or other advances due to gender may be helpful in building a successful case. However, if employees feel they have been subject to subtler forms of harassment, they may still wish to consult an attorney about their options.

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

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