Skip to main content

Tinder settles with former exec over sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit

Tinder settles with former exec over sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit

Share this story

Tinder has settled a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought by a former executive who alleged that she left the company after being subject to repeated instances of abusive behavior. In a statement first sent to BuzzFeed, the law firm representing former Tinder marketing VP Whitney Wolfe says that Wolfe and Tinder have resolved the suit without any admission of wrongdoing. The firm declined to comment on whether Wolfe would receive any compensation as part of the settlement.

"[Wolfe] is proud of her the work she did as a co-founder of Tinder, which contributed so much to the growth of the app," the law firm tells The Verge. "She is now going to focus her energy and talents on some exciting new projects."

Tinder and IAC argued that Wolfe's claims were "unfounded"

Wolfe's suit was filed back in June, alleging that Tinder's marketing chief, Justin Mateen, began harassing her after they ended a relationship. Mateen is said to have stripped Wolfe of her title as a Tinder co-founder because having a "24‐year-old girl" with such a title made the company "seem like a joke." He is also reported to have referred to her in abusive ways and sent her racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages. Mateen was suspended from Tinder after the suit was filed. Tinder's parent company, IAC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mateen's current employment status or the settlement with Wolfe.

Though the suit ends with hardly even a fizzle, its initial filing served to paint Tinder as a yet another example of unwelcoming bro culture at a tech startup. Tinder CEO Sean Rad was also named as a defendant of the suit, with Wolfe alleging that he dismissed her behaviors and threatened to fire her if she didn't agree to have her title changed. Rad condemned the communications sent from Mateen to Whitney, but he argued that her claims were "full of" inaccuracies and that her suit did not properly represent him or the culture of Tinder. IAC initially wrote that her claims were "unfounded."

Update Sept. 8th, 7:40PM ET: this story has been updated to reflect that Wolfe's law firm responded to our request for comment.