Tinder settles sexual harassment claim against co-founder of app firm

by Redmans Solicitors on September 23, 2014

A company which owns the rights to a popular online dating “app” has settled a claim after one of the female co-founders alleged that she had been sexually harassed by her former boyfriend and colleague at the firm.

Whitney Wolfe, 24, made her claim for sexual harassment against IAC, the company that owns the rights to the online dating app “Tinder”, and her former boyfriend and co-founder, Justin Mateen, after she claimed that she was sexually harassed by Mr Mateen.

In her lawsuit in the Los Angeles Supreme Court Ms Mateen’s lawyers alleged that she had been subjected to the following conduct by Mr Mateen, a former boyfriend of hers:

  • That Mr Mateen accused her of being “heartless”, threatened to “s*** on” a love rival, and that he disapproved of her flirting and spending time with Muslim men
  • That he had submitted her to other racist and sexist text messages, comments and emails

Ms Wolfe claimed in her lawsuit that after her relationship with Mr Mateen deteriorated she had been fired from the company. She had been seeking compensatory damages (including restitution and lost pay) and punitive damages in her lawsuit.

Reports now indicate that, subsequent to issuing the claim in the Los Angeles Supreme Court, Ms Wolfe’s legal team withdrew the claim after a settlement was reached between the parties. According to the Daily Mail, Mr Mateen had been suspended from his duties and no longer works for Tinder or IAC

Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe LLP, the lawyers that Ms Wolfe instructed to handle her sexual harassment claim, commented as follows: “Whitney’s lawsuit against Tinder has been resolved (without admission of wrongdoing); she is proud of her role as a co-founder of Tinder and of the role she played in the app’s success. She is now pleased to be able to focus her energy, talents, and ideas on exciting new opportunities.”

Neither Mr Mateen nor IAC’s legal team appear to have commented on the case.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Sexual harassment is a serious issue in any workplace, whether in America or in the United Kingdom. If allegations of sexual harassment are raised then employers should take prompt, fair and efficient steps to investigate the allegations and ensure that they are addressed. A failure to do so, as in this case, can potentially lead to expensive legal claims.”

Redmans Solicitors are solicitors in Richmond, London

Redmans Solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Commercial law, employment law and litigation firm based in Richmond, London
Redmans Solicitors

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