Twitter and Facebook hit with separate gender discrimination suits

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on March 21, 2015

From The News Desk

Twitter has been hit with a class action suit, alleging gender discrimination in its promotion policies towards female employees. The suit comes just days after Facebook was hit by a separate legal complaint, claiming that a female employee was discriminated against, and ultimately fired, based on her gender.

The Twitter suit, filed on Thursday in San Francisco, involves Tina Huang who, according to the complaint, was employed by Twitter between 2009 - 2014 in"varying software engineering roles."

Huang claims she was overlooked for a promotion to Senior Staff Engineer without good reason and that, after she complained directly to CEO Dick Costolo, she was put on administrative leave and ultimately forced to leave the company.

Huang is attempting to bring a class action suit against the company :

[O]n behalf of herself and all similarly situated current and former female Twitter employees who have been subjected to Twitter's continuing policies and practices of sex discrimination. Ms. Huang, on behalf of herself and the class she represents, charges that Twitter discriminates against its female employees by failing to promote equally qualified or better qualified women to engineering leadership positions. The company's promotion system creates a glass ceiling for women that cannot be explained or justified by any reasonable business purpose, because Twitter has no meaningful promotion process for these jobs: no published promotion criteria, nor any internal hiring, advancement, or application processes for employees. This action seeks to end Twitter's discriminatory practices and to provide monetary relief including punitive damages to Ms. Huang and those similarly situated for the damage resulting from Twitter's practices.
Huang's attorneys say the class should include:
All current and former female employees of Twitter denied promotions in the three years prior to the filing of this complaint to Software Engineer II, Senior Software Engineer, Staff Software Engineer, Senior Staff Software Engineer, or similarly titled positions in California.
In the separate Facebook suit, filed March 16th and first reported by Courthouse News, former employee Chia Hong claims she was ordered by bosses to seve drinks to her male coworkers and was belittled during meetings.

According to Courthouse News, Hong claims her boss at Facebook, Anil Wilson... "asked her 'why she did not just stay at home" to take care of her child instead of working, and admonished her for taking off one day per month to volunteer at her child's school."

In the Facebook case, Hong claims she was ultimately fired "based on her sex, race and national origin."

The lawsuits come as the high profile Silicon Valley gender discrimination trial of Pao vs Kleiner heads towards final arguments next week.