Des Moines, IA-Tinder can now put the sexual harassment scandal that has been plaguing the company for the past five months behind them now that the company settled their lawsuit with Whitney Wolfe and punished CEO Sean Rad.
Wolfe, who was listed as one of the Tinder’s co-founders alleged she was repeatedly sexually harassed by Justin Mateen, also a Tinder co-founder, after their intimate relationship went down the tubes. She alleged that both Mateen and Rad called her a “slut” in front of others and told her they didn’t want a woman as a co-founder.
Wolfe complained about Mateen’s behavior to Tinder CEO Sean Rad, but he didn’t take appropriate action. Wolfe also alleged Rad harassed and degraded her via text messages.
Wolfe actually settled her lawsuit in September, and at the time multiple sources said the settlement was for an undisclosed amount. But Forbes reported this week that the settlement amount was just over $1 million.
By agreeing to the settlement Tinder admitted to no wrong-doing. Prior to reaching the settlement, Justin Mateen resigned as the company’s CFO.
Then on Tuesday, IAC, Tinder’s parent company, demoted CEO Sean Rad. He will retain his 10 percent stake in the company and stay on as president. Rad will act as CEO for now until IAC can find someone to replace him, according to the Business Insider.
Although, IAC didn’t say why Rad was demoted, a source told Forbes the Wolfe’s lawsuit gave them the perfect excuse to let him go. Without the lawsuit, demoting Rad would have been complicated, the source said, and possibly litigious.
Tinder settled Wolfe’s sexual harassment suit quickly, which surprised some, but isn’t at all that unusual. Sexual harassment and discriminations litigation is very time consuming and expensive. As with the Tinder case, sexual harassment allegations can attract a great deal of media attention and smear the reputation of business. This often has a twofold affect; the company gets a bad reputation and their revenue goes down. For this reason, many companies, large and small, want to quickly handle these types of allegations and begin damage control.
Some these settlements come early in the process and very soon after the allegations surface. This especially true when a company thinks he evidence is stacked up against them. In Wolfe’s case, she had text messages and other online communications to prove her allegations.
As part of their agreement, Tinder denied any wrongdoing or admission that the harassment actually took place. This is one of the other benefits of a sexual harassment settlement, the case can be closed and the company doesn’t have to admit to fostering a hostile work environment.
The best way to settle a sexual harassment suit is a decision that should be left up to an experienced sexual harassment attorney who examine their client’s case and help them decide which course of action to take. Your attorney won’t steer you in the wrong direction.