Former Tinder Exec Sues Her Old Employer For Sexual Harassment

Former Tinder Exec Sues Her Old Employer For Sexual Harassment
[Image: Flickr user Steve Snodgrass]

Tinder has built a dating empire around a simple gesture. But, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles, the white-hot matchmaking startup has its share of inner turmoil.

The case involves Whitney Wolfe, who was until recently Tinder’s vice president of marketing. Wolfe resigned in April 2014.

Whitney WolfeImage via Twitter

According to the suit, Wolfe cites inappropriate and abusive behavior internally consistent with the ugliest caricatures of an alpha-bro culture. Wolfe alleges that Tinder CMO Justin Mateen, with whom she at one point had a romantic relationship, repeatedly called her a “whore” on several occasions–including in front of CEO Sean Rad, and publicly in front of her colleagues at a company party in April. The latter incident caused her to resign.

At some point after their romance disbanded, Wolfe claims she had her “cofounder” title stripped (the suit claims she was the one who came up with the name “Tinder” in the first place), allegedly because Mateen said having a 24-year-old female cofounder made the company “seem like a joke.”

On several occasions, Wolfe complained to Rad about Wolfe’s behavior, which, according to the court document, included numerous text messages.

But the CEO, per the lawsuit, would ignore her or call her “a dramatic or emotional girl.”

A spokesperson for IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns a major stake in Tinder and, told Reuters, “We unequivocally condemn these messages… but believe that Ms. Wolfe’s allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded.”

Mateen has since been suspended by the company, as an internal investigation is ongoing. Wolfe still lists the title “cofounder” in her Twitter bio.CG