Former Tinder VP Sues the Dating App for Sexual Harassment | Adweek Former Tinder VP Sues the Dating App for Sexual Harassment | Adweek
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Former Tinder VP Sues the Dating App for Sexual Harassment

Whitney Wolfe says she was labeled a 'whore'

Chief Marketing Officer, Justin Mateen | Photo: Getty Images

Whitney Wolfe, the former vp and co-founder of Tinder, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the dating app on Monday, stating that she was labeled a "whore" in front of the company's CEO, among other allegations.

Wolfe claims she was unceremoniously removed from her co-founder role sometime after the company’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, offered the view that "having a young female co-founder 'makes the company seem like a joke' and 'devalues' the company," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles. She also alleges that on April 6 at a company event, Mateen referred to her as a "whore" in front of CEO Sean Rad. 

In her suit, Wolfe says she and Mateen were dating at one time. Most of her complaints seem to center on his behaviors, and Mateen has been suspended by IAC, which owns Tinder in addition to other dating properties like Match.com.

"Immediately upon receipt of the allegations contained in Ms. Wolfe's complaint, Mr. Mateen was suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation," IAC said in a statement emailed to USA Today. "Through that process, it has become clear that Mr. Mateen sent private messages to Ms. Wolfe containing inappropriate content. We unequivocally condemn these messages, but believe that Ms. Wolfe's allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded."

Wolfe also claims she was subjected to a "frat-like" environment that tolerated "misogynist, alpha-male stereotype" types of behaviors. The litigation maintains she complained about such treatment but was ignored by Rad and IAC.

Wolfe is requesting compensatory damages, including lost pay, punitive damages and restitution.

Meanwhile, recent months have represented a tough stretch for tech companies when it comes to how they are perceived to treat women.

Less than five weeks ago, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel had to apologize after explicitly demeaning emails about coeds surfaced from his days at Stanford University.

And in late April, marketing software company RadiumOne fired its CEO, Gurbaksh Chahal, after he pled guilty to physically abusing his girlfriend in an incident that took place on Aug. 5, 2013.  

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