Rosette Pambakian, a former VP of marketing and communications at Tinder, has alleged sexual battery in a new lawsuit against Match Group, IAC and Tinder’s ex-CEO Greg Blatt. She also claims negligence, wrongful termination, gender violence and retaliation.
The plaintiff says that Blatt groped her and made inappropriate comments at a company party in December 2016.
According to the lawsuit, Pambakian then went to the startup’s human resources department to file a complaint. They participated in a “cover-up” according to the claims, encouraging the marketer to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for a raise. She declined.
The early employee was then placed on administrative leave by the dating brand, before being let go in 2018. She discussed the terms of her dismissal with current Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg via email, with the company suggesting she was failing to fulfill the responsibilities demanded by her communications role.
Match clarified its position on the harassment case in a statement: “The Match Group Board – with the assistance of experienced outside counsel from two nationally recognized law firms – promptly conducted a careful and thorough investigation under the direction of independent Board members, concluded, among other things, that there was no violation of law or company policy, and took appropriate action.”
The same allegations were raised in 2018 as part of the ongoing Tinder founder’s lawsuit, a case which primarily concerns a claim of undervalued stock options.
Pambakian was forced to withdraw from that dispute due to an arbitration clause in her contract. Mashable’s Brittany Levine Beckman notes: “While Pambakian’s assault was used as an example of mismanagement in the previous lawsuit, this time it’s front and center.”
In 2014, Whitney Wolfe Herd (then Whitney Wolfe) left Tinder in a sexual harassment case involving the app’s co-founder Justin Mateen. She went on to found Bumble, the dating and social app that puts women first.
Read more here.