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Former executive sues dating app, alleges sexual harassment

Tinder Dating App Facing Sexual Harassment Lawsuit


(Reuters) - Former Tinder marketing Vice President Whitney Wolfe is suing the popular dating-app company for sexual harassment and discrimination, making it the latest technology business to face challenges over its treatment of women.

Wolfe's lawsuit, filed Monday, listed a series of alleged incidents of harassment over roughly 18 months starting in late 2012. Among the allegations: that Chief Executive Officer Sean Rad and the company's chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, removed her title as co-founder because of her gender; and that Mateen publicly insulted her, including calling her a whore at a company party, while Rad ignored her complaints.

IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI.O) owns a majority stake in Los Angeles-based Tinder and is also a defendant, along with fellow dating site and IAC portfolio company Match.com.

A spokesman for IAC said that Mateen had been suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation, and called messages he sent Wolfe "inappropriate."

"We unequivocally condemn these messages," the spokesman said, "but believe that Ms. Wolfe's allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded."

Tinder and Match did not reply to emails requesting comment.

In the lawsuit, Wolfe says she came up with the name "Tinder" for the service in mid-2012, shortly after its creation, amid worries that its original name, Matchbox, was too similar to Match.com.

The lawsuit says Wolfe became romantically involved with Mateen, her boss, who joined the company in late 2012.

Although she was designated a co-founder in a November 2012 meeting, Mateen told her that having a "girl founder" devalued the company, according to the lawsuit. In November 2013, Mateen and Rad removed her co-founder title.

As her romance broke down, the suit says, Mateen called her "a desperate loser" in a marketing meeting and told Rad and others she was an alcoholic. He also sent her a series of harassing texts, it states. Wolfe complained to Rad, who would ignore her "or call her a dramatic or emotional girl," the suit says, adding that in one meeting, Rad told her it was her job to "keep Justin calm."

The lawsuit alleges that Wolfe resigned after Mateen called her a whore at a company party in April.

The allegations come as Silicon Valley draws fire for its female-unfriendly atmosphere, which activists say contributes to the low number of female technology executives and company founders. Some have dubbed the culture at many companies as one of the "brogrammer," meaning a partying male programmer.

The Tinder lawsuit was filed in Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Ken Wills)

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Scooter July 01 2014 at 7:16 AM

No case here. SHE WAS DOING HER BOSS!!!

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1 reply
chasesea Scooter July 01 2014 at 2:05 PM

WTF does that have to do with anything? He called her a ***** and an alcoholic in a meeting. Unacceptable. And do you actually know what romantically involved means for them? Maybe they were BF & GG. Either way, he's a disgusting a-hole. She should be glad to be away from him.

And who cares if a woman is a co-founder? Sounds like that bozo suffers from little penis syndrome.

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grassyno July 01 2014 at 12:29 AM

So she was the girl friend and co-founder, but when the romance went south and she lost influence, then she sued for sexual harassment. It's a shame when minorities abuse the laws that were passed to protect those truly abused. This just jades people against such claims in the future. A girl friend suing for sexual harassment is like a wife doing it. If you don't like the relationship or the situation, get a divorce. But don't play the sex victim card.

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2 replies
chasesea grassyno July 01 2014 at 2:08 PM

We don't know the whole story. And why is it when a woman files a harrassment suit she's a liar? He called her filthy names in a meeting. And why didn't he want her name as a co-founder? She co-founded the co. He also sent her harrassing texts. Are you saying that's not harrassment? Sounds like he couldn't stay away from her. Sounds like HE's the one with the problem.

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evnsaffl grassyno July 01 2014 at 3:44 PM

minorities?

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j7drb July 01 2014 at 9:02 AM

You'd be surprised what goes on in these dating sites! Such an invasion of privacy. They read your emails, and control what they want. Including personal information. Beware.

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reelanimals July 01 2014 at 6:43 AM

I have never heard of Tinder. And if you read the article you will see this is a llegitimate claim because the company doesn't even like the messages that were sent to her.

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RICH July 01 2014 at 8:12 AM

What a roach !

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tharper001 July 01 2014 at 10:54 AM

Oh my... another broken relationship leads to sexual harassment... WOW!! SHOCKING!!!

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propickup July 01 2014 at 3:06 PM

she needs to move on. Every time a women gets dumped they claim harassment. When they dump a guy it's because they cheated..Where's the paper work stating she was or is a co-founder, bet there's none! she is lying. Just a jilted lover wanting more then she deserves. Now she's trying to _u_k him for the _u_king he got.lol

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thosholzel July 01 2014 at 9:10 AM

"We unequivocally condemn these messages," the spokesman said, "but believe that Ms. Wolfe's allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded.".

Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like, yes he did it, but he's not guilty...

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madddddddddddddd July 01 2014 at 7:47 AM

huh??????????????????????????????

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meemeepit July 01 2014 at 5:16 AM

WHO are these DUDES???

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