Law and Order
With Y Combinator’s biannual Demo Day coming up on August 19, the startup accelerator has a pressing matter on its mind: preventing sexual harassment between investors and founders.
In a blog post titled “A Reminder to Investors” published earlier this afternoon, founding partner Jessica Livingston warned that “inappropriate sexual or romantic behavior from investors toward founders” would lead to Y Combinator “not [continuing] to work with you.”
Law and Order
In the wake of some pretty damning evidence that Tinder is not that chill a place to work if you’re a woman, CEO Sean Rad has denied former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe’s legal claim that she was sexually harassed while working there.
TechCrunch got its hands on an internal memo, which says:
Sex in the Valley
It’s another banner day for the tech industry vis-a-vis gender relations.
Tinder’s former VP of marketing, Whitney Wolfe, is suing the startup after having been subjected to fratty behavior (that’s putting it mildly) during her time with the dating app. She filed a lawsuit yesterday with Los Angeles Superior Court alleging sexual harassment and discrimination.
Ms. Wolfe claims she was a cofounder of the app, but was stripped of the title because the company’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, told her that having a “24-year-old girl” as a cofounder made the company “seem like a joke,” USA Today reports.
When Lawyers Send Letters
Naturally, it’s the moment that everyone decamps for SXSW that scandal breaks. Fortune reports that the San Francisco venture firm CMEA Capital and former chief operating partner John Haag have been slapped with allegations of sexual harassment, racial harassment and retaliation by a trio of executive assistants.
Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins came as a shock largely because the prestigious firm has long had a good-guy reputation. This lawsuit, on the other hand, is jaw-dropping for its volume of allegations that are just disgusting. It reads like House of Cards meets Van Wilder. If even a handful of these claims are true, it’s enough to obliterate all our Lean In-inspired optimism.
Earlier today, news broke that Square’s COO, Keith Rabois, had left the company. It was a strangely-timed departure, considering Square recently raised $200 million in a Series D. Now, the Wall Street Journal has broken the news that Mr. Rabois is embroiled in a sexual harassment claim from a fellow Square employee, and resigned so that the allegations would “not cause a distraction for the company.”