Popular dating-app Tinder (and its parent company IAC) has settled a sex harassment suit filed by its sole female co-founder. The allegations are against the other two co-founders, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen.
The female co-founder is Whitney Wolfe. On June 30, she filed a lawsuit accusing her fellow co-founders (both men) of subjecting her to “horrendously sexist, racist and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages.” The conduct was said to have occurred over an 18-month period. Ms. Wolfe did have a romantic relationship with Mr. Mateen that ended shortly before her termination. Ultimately, Ms. Wolfe was stripped of her co-founder status and allegedly terminated because she was a 24-year old woman. She was told that having a “girl founder” devalued the company. Ms. Wolfe stated that Mr. Mateen was purportedly suspended following Ms. Wolfe’s legal claims that he had called her a “whore” and “gold digger” in front of Mr. Rad. Apparently, the complaint contained screen shots of some of the offensive text messages. The suit alleges that Tinder’s executives fit into the stereotypical misogynistic and alpha males that are associated with technology start-ups.