WeWork and its principal investor, SoftBank, recently paid WeWork co-founder and self-declared candidate for “President of the World” Adam Neumann worth only $ 1.7 billion to get his ass his door in the midst of the company's catastrophic collapse. And he has left quite a mess behind him, with a proposed lawsuit complaint brought by a former female employee that Neumann and other WeWork leaders engaged in appalling behavior towards women.
According to a complaint filed with the Gender Equality Commission on Thursday, Neumann's former chief of staff Medina Bardhi said that Neumann smoked weed on a jet ahead of her, that female employees of the company did significantly less than her male counterparts, and that she was subject to retaliation in the workplace to take a maternity leave. Bardhi said that during the five years she worked in the company, she was pregnant and took leave twice, resulting in demotions that were obviously motivated by her free time.
"It is astonishing that WeWork could reward Adam Neumann's blatantly sexist behavior with a staggering and unprecedented golden parachute worth over a billion dollars, while the company has subjected Bardhi and other women to repeated and systematic marginalization, less pay than their male counterparts, and retaliation for having the courage to raise legitimate complaints about gender and pregnancy discrimination, "Douglas Wigdor of Wigdor LLP, who represents Bardhi, told Gizmodo in a statement." Our hope is that this complaint case will send a loud and clear message to WeWork and other startups say that pregnant women cannot be forced out of work, that women must be paid fairly and have equal opportunities, and that you cannot retaliate against any person who voices a complaint of discrimination. "
The complaint states that during her first interview in October 201
WeWork then hired a man to take responsibility for the chief of staff who was obviously meant to be permanent rather than temporary, and who paid $ 400,000 with a $ 175,000 signing bonus, according to the complaint. $ 150,000 She returned to the role in 2017, the documents go on, but again became pregnant and sought maternity leave in 2018. Neumann had her replaced again with a man and put her duties on the sidelines, the complaint says, Bardhi said she repeatedly brought discrimination with other company's officials to no avail, and was fired after Neumann's departure from the company last month.
The complaint also states other female employees at WeWork were exposed widespread discrimination and that there is a large wage gap between female and male workers performing the same duties. (WeWork has faced several lawsuits from other female leaders who claim a widespread harassment culture at the company .) The complaint is proposed class action lawsuits alleging violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, and requiring an E-examination (19459005) and appropriate compensation paid to female WeWork employees who tolerated discrimination.
Note that Neumann has previously claimed that WeWork champion women and wanted to "[ bring] into the most talented women in the world."
"WeWork intends to vigorously defend against this claim," a WeWork spokesman told Gizmodo in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We are committed to continuing the company and building a company and a culture that our employees can be proud of. "