HomeWinBuzzer News Snapchat to Pay $15 Million in Gender Discrimination Settlement

[UPDATE] Snapchat to Pay $15 Million in Gender Discrimination Settlement

Snap has settled a $15M lawsuit over gender bias & harassment claims following California investigation into discrimination in the tech industry.


[UPDATE 3.7.2024 – 14:53 CET] A previous version of this article refers to a  Wall Street Journal report featuring untrue and debunked allegations against Bobby Kotick. All of the allegations came from a complaint filed by the Civil Rights Department (‘CRD') in 2021 that has been dismissed. The CRD, WSJ, and independent investigations found the claims of systemic sexual harassment at Activision – and Kotick's role in the allegations – were unsubstantiated.

Following its own internal review,  Activision publicly released its inaugural annual Transparency Report in May 2023. The report confirmed that there has never been widespread or systemic harassment at Activision.

[20.6.2024 – 15:23 CET] Snap Inc., known for its social platform Snapchat, has reached a $15 million settlement with California's Civil Rights Department (CRD) following allegations of gender discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment. The resolution concludes a three-year investigation into the company's employment practices from 2015 to 2022.

Findings of the Investigation

The CRD uncovered evidence indicating that female employees at were frequently discouraged from pursuing promotions and often overlooked in favor of less-qualified male colleagues. The investigation also revealed instances of sexual harassment and retaliatory actions against women who complained about these issues, including negative performance reviews and termination.

While Snap Inc. denied the allegations, it opted to settle to avoid ongoing litigation costs. The agreement allocates $14.5 million for compensating female employees who worked at the company from 2014 to 2024. As part of the settlement, an independent consultant will review Snap's pay and promotion policies, and an external auditor will evaluate compliance with laws against sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination.

Tech Industry Accountability

The settlement is among several actions taken by California authorities to address discriminatory practices in the tech sector. In December, the CRD reached a $54 million settlement with Activision Blizzard over similar issues. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has also taken action against other tech companies, including a $700 million settlement with Google and another case with DoorDash concerning customer data sales.

Kevin Kish, Director of the CRD, highlighted the significance of California's civil rights laws in ensuring equitable treatment for workers. “Women deserve equality in all jobs, across every workplace and industry,” Kish asserted. Snap Inc. spokesperson Russ Caditz-Peck reiterated the company's dedication to a fair and inclusive environment, despite not agreeing with the investigation's findings.

Context and Company Culture

Since its founding in 2011, Snap Inc. expanded rapidly, growing from 250 employees in 2015 to over 5,000 by 2022. The CRD's investigation revealed that during this expansion, women were often discouraged from seeking promotions and faced sexual harassment. Women in engineering, who constitute about 70% of Snap's workforce, encountered significant obstacles to advancement.

To ensure compliance moving forward, Snap Inc. will employ an independent consultant to review and recommend changes to its pay and promotion policies. An external monitor will audit the company's handling of harassment and discrimination complaints, with findings reported to the CRD. 

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 3:01 pm CEST

SourceLA Times
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.