TikTok has been under a lot of hot water recently with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing called “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis”.
In the hearing, executives of social media platforms like TikTok, Meta, Discord and more were called to testify whether their app was a danger to society, especially young kids.
Apart from that the platform is constantly in the news for encouraging harmful trends or content that is not good for youngsters to see. Now TikTok is being sued by a former employee who claims she was fired from her job after she brought up issues like sex, age and disability discrimination.
Why Is The Former Employee Suing?
According to reports, Katie Ellen Puris who was a former head of global marketing at TikTok is suing the company along with the parent company, ByteDance claiming that she was fired from her job on unfair grounds and because she reported various discriminations going on related to age, sex and more.
Puris had joined TikTok as managing director and US head of business marketing in December 2019 was fired in 2022 even though she was said to be “extraordinarily successful” at her job and got promoted in just two months to lead the global business marketing team.
However, reports state that in her lawsuit she alleges that she found herself on a supposed employee “kill list” carried out by yteDance Ltd. Chairman Zhang Lidong.
Read More: ResearchED: Why Everyone Hates TikTok?
Puris has filed a complaint with the Manhattan federal court stating that her firing in 2022 was because she “lacked the docility and meekness” expected of the women working at the company and that she reported bias against age along with sexual harassment to supervisors and human resources.
Puris who was close to 50 years old when she was fired accuses the company of making derogatory comments about her age and pointed out the behaviour of Zhang in particular.
As per a Business Insider report, the complaint states that “However, after Ms. Puris — one of the most senior female executives in the United States — was invited to attend and participate in bi-weekly meeting (with Zhang) she was subjected to disparate treatment and ultimately unlawfully terminated.”
It further states that “Zhang and other corporate executives determined that Ms. Puris lacked the docility and meekness specifically required of female employees.”
The complaint adds how the Bytedance chairman “had a stereotypical view of the way women should behave” and did not like Puris’ celebration of some team success as it “did not fit that stereotypical gender mold.”
The complaint wrote that Zhang felt it was “inappropriate” the way Puris “celebrated her team’s successes and achievements,” since “he believes that women should always remain humble and express modesty.”
“By the second quarter of 2021, it became very evident that Ms. Puris was on Lidong Zhang’s ‘kill list,'” the lawsuit adds. “Part of Lidong Zhang’s ‘kill list’ approach was to build a case against any employee he placed on the list and instruct other employees to do the same.”
The complaint also writes that “The disparate treatment Ms. Puris experienced only increased as she neared 50 years old and company executives made it clear that they preferred young, less experienced employees who they believed to be more innovative and pliable.”
Besides this, the complaint also points out how she had reported a marketing company employee sexually harassing her at the June 2022 Cannes Lions industry event in France to TikTok but it “failed to respond appropriately.”
The complaint also includes how despite having reported “discriminatory treatment” she was facing to her managers and HR the company, “taking its directives from the office in China, failed to take any corrective action.”
According to reports, Puris is seeking as of yet unspecified damages for economic losses, pain and suffering, and harm to her reputation and career.
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