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Snap settles sex discrimination case in California for $15 million

A banner advertising Snap hangs from the facade of the New York Stock Exchange as Snap's initial public offering debuts in New York City on March 2, 2017. Snap settled a sex employment discrimination lawsuit in California on Wednesday for $14 million. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
A banner advertising Snap hangs from the facade of the New York Stock Exchange as Snap's initial public offering debuts in New York City on March 2, 2017. Snap settled a sex employment discrimination lawsuit in California on Wednesday for $14 million. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

June 20 (UPI) -- The California Civil Rights Department announced on Wednesday that it settled a $15 million alleged sex employment discrimination case with Snapchat's parent company.

The department said while Snap Inc. experienced rapid growth from 2015 to 2022, women hit "a glass ceiling" and were discouraged from applying for promotions or lost them to less qualified male applicants.

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Women at Santa Monica-based Snap also endured unwelcomed sexual advances and other harassment, the department said. When the women spoke out about it, Snap officials allegedly retaliated against them. The retaliation included negative reviews, denial of professional opportunities and terminations.

"This settlement with Snapchat demonstrates a shared commitment to a California where all workers have a fair chance at the American Dream," said Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish in a statement.

"Women are entitled to equality in every job, in every workplace, and in every industry."

As part of the deal, Snap will hire an independent consultant to review and make suggestions about the company's compensation and promotion policies. The social media company will contract with a third-party monitor to audit Snap's agreement to pay $14.5 million toward compensating women who worked at the company from 2014 through 2024.

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A former software engineer at Snap complained that it created a "sexist" and "toxic" working culture in 2018. Criticism mounted to the point that Snap conducted an internal racism and sexism investigation in 2022, which led to a diversity report.

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