Zendesk Accused of Gender Discrimination Against Women Tech Workers

A Bay Area tech company is facing two lawsuits for allegedly fostering a work culture of harassment and gender discrimination. Both lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco.

Zendesk, a software support company based in San Francisco, was accused of systematically paying women employees “significantly less” than male employees. The alleged discriminatory practices occurred across all aspects of employment, ranging from promotions to parental leave. The lawsuit claimed women were hired to lower job levels, along with being offered less stock and fewer incentive pay opportunities than their male counterparts.

One of the lawsuits is seeking class action status to cover hundreds of current and former Zendesk employees. Three of the plaintiffs are former employees who claimed they quit the company due to discrimination and harassment. The fourth plaintiff is a current worker who has been at Zendesk since 2014. They filed the lawsuit anonymously to protect their identities and avoid hurting future employment prospects.

The second lawsuit involves three former Zendesk employees. One plaintiff went on medical leave to treat a stomach abscess her doctor believed she developed due to job stress. While she was recovering from surgery, her male supervisor allegedly threatened to fire her if she did not “promptly return” to the office. The employee felt she was forced to go back to work even though her doctor advised otherwise.

Another plaintiff said she faced pregnancy discrimination once her manager learned of her high-risk pregnancy. The lawsuit alleged she was being punished for planning to go on maternity leave. Zendesk allegedly passed her over for a promotion in favor of a less-experienced, newer male employee. Additionally, her manager continued to criticize her for minor issues even though she met her sales quota.

All three women complained to human resources about the alleged harassment and discrimination. However, Zendesk responded with indifference. They were forced to quit when their employer failed to take any action or investigate the conduct. The women are seeking unspecified damages, restitution and an order prohibiting Zendesk from engaging in harassment and discrimination.

If you have faced harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you may have a case against your employer. No worker should be forced to tolerate unlawful conduct. Contact Erlich Law Firm to discuss your situation with an experienced Oakland employment lawyer. We can advise you of your rights and legal options.

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