Tinder has fired its vice president of marketing and communications Rosette Pambakian, as well as other employees who sued Tinder’s parent company Match Group and its controlling shareholder IAC earlier this year.
The Verge first broke the news of the firings. A Match Group spokesperson confirmed that a number of Tinder employees have been terminated, though they did not identify them or say how many were involved.
The lawsuit was filed by Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen and other executives. Some, like Rad, had already left Tinder, while others like Pambakian and Badeen, were still employed at the time.
In the suit, the group alleged that IAC and Match Group had manipulated financial data in order to lower the company’s valuation.They also alleged that Greg Blatt, who served as CEO of Match and Tinder, groped and sexually harassed Pambakian at the company’s 2016 holiday party. (Match and IAC said the allegations were “meritless.”)
In an email sent to Match Group’s current CEO Mandy Ginsberg, Pambakian said that after being placed on leave when the lawsuit was filed, she was subjected to “ongoing intimidation and retaliation clearly designed to pressure me into resigning.” Pambakian also said that after she declined to sign a non-disparagement agreement, “Match snuck an arbitration clause into its employees’ most recent compliance acknowledgements, causing me, Jonathan, James and Josh to have to withdraw from the lawsuit.”
“I never imagined that I’d be pushed out of my company for standing up for what is right,” she wrote. “But if that is the cost of being on the right side of history, I’ll pay it. As a woman CEO, I truly hope that you reconsider the safety of your remaining female workforce and allow Tinder and other Match owned companies to follow in the footsteps of Uber, Facebook and Google in eliminating forced arbitration for sexual misconduct claims. We deserve better.”
In response, Ginsberg denied that Pambakian was fired for complaining about sexual harassment: “You couldn’t have been, as you never reported Greg for sexual harassment.”
“As explained in the letter we sent you, you were terminated because it was not possible for you to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of your role as Tinder’s spokesperson for a number of reasons, including your public position against the company over a valuation process,” Ginsberg continued. “We also recently asked you to come to the office for a meeting with the HR department to discuss work-related activities and policies and were told that we can only contact you through your attorneys. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you to do your work at Tinder if all communications related to your job have to go through your lawyers.”
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