Spotify sued for gender discrimination and unequal pay by former employee
A former female employee alleges that women were paid less and that the company discriminated based on gender, indulging in secret 'boys trips' to strip clubs and concerts.
Spotify is being sued for gender discrimination by a former employee who alleges that the company orchestrated secret "boys' trips" to concerts, often involving drug use, and regularly passed over women for promotion. According to a report by Variety, sales executive Hong Perez filed the lawsuit against the company and her former boss Brian Berner, on Tuesday in the New York Supreme Court. In the lawsuit, Perez lays out a case against the company that she claims operated under a “double standard,” treating its female employees worse than their male counterparts.
Perez alleges that Berner took men-only groups to Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and 2017, which were internally referred to as “boys’ trips.” She claimed that though employees of the company talked about drug use on the trips and one employee was involved in a physical altercation, the company took no action to discipline those involved.
She added that another executive in the company received a promotion even after being warned repeatedly for incidents of sexual harassment. Perez said that this executive took male sales staff to strip clubs in Atlantic City. Perez went on to claim that the CFO said he "does not care about diversity at the company" at a town hall meeting and that the company’s Head of Human Resources once announced in a meeting that his favorite curse word is “c*nt.”
The suit also alleges gender discrimination when it came to equal pay, claiming that the global head of sales gave higher compensation and equity to men than to women. Perez also states that she raised concerns with the HR executive over “double standards,” after the executive went easy on a male executive accused of sexual harassment.
Perez also claimed that after her former boss Berner got in trouble for accepting free tickets to Madison Square Garden and issues surrounding a discounting deal earlier this March, she was unfairly blamed for the situation and Berner then fired her for purported violations of the company’s Code of Conduct.
Spotify responded to the lawsuit in a statement. “At Spotify, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at any level. While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending litigation, these claims are without merit,” a spokesperson for the company said.