Former and current female Snapchat employees will share a $15 million settlement

Social media platform Snapchat was once known for its Mission Impossible-like disappearing messages until it created the 24 hour Stories feature that was stolen by Instagram. Now, Snapchat is probably more famous for its silly photo filters and lenses. Recently, Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. settled a lawsuit filed by the California Civil Rights Department that accused the firm of discrimination. 

The $15 million settlement will be split up and shared among female Snap Inc. employees. According to the U.S. Sun, Snapchat treated its female employees unfairly by subjecting them to sexual harassment while at work. Those victims of the harassment who complained had to deal with retaliation. Snapchat disagreed with the claims made in the lawsuit and in agreeing to settle the matter, Snapchat and Snap Inc. did not have to admit to the wrongdoings listed in the lawsuit.

In a statement, Snap said, “We care deeply about our commitment to maintain a fair and inclusive environment at Snap, and do not believe we have any ongoing systemic pay equity, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation issues against women.” The California Civil Rights Department has something to celebrate since it was able to get Snap Inc. to agree to the settlement on behalf of its eligible female employees.

Kevin Kish, the director of the state’s civil rights agency said, “This settlement with Snapchat demonstrates a shared commitment to a California where all workers have a fair chance at the American Dream. Women are entitled to equality in every job, in every workplace, and in every industry. In California, we’re proud of the work of our state’s innovators who are a driving force of our nation’s economy.”

The majority of the $15 million settlement fund will go to women who worked at Snapchat between 2014 and 2024 and found themselves victims of discrimination. But more than money is involved here. The terms of the settlement force Snap Inc. to consult an independent reviewer who will report on the company’s compensation and promotion policies. In addition, an independent, third-party auditor will be hired to make sure that Snap Inc. is complying with rules against sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. Staff will be trained on these issues and taught how they can be avoided in the workplace.

From 2015 through 2022, Snap grew from 250 employees to over 5,000 although females did not share proportionately in the growth of the company. According to the Civil Rights Department, female Snap Inc. employees “were told to wait their turn, were actively discouraged from applying for promotions, or lost promotion opportunities to less qualified male colleagues.”

The settlement still needs court approval and at that time the court will determine how much each eligible worker will receive.

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