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Snapchat owner to pay $15 mln to settle California sex bias probe

Snapchat owner to pay $15 mln to settle California sex bias probe

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Snapchat owner to pay $15 mln to settle California sex bias probe.

Snapchat owner to pay $15 mln to settle California sex bias probe.
| Photo Credit: AP

Snapchat owner Snap has agreed to pay $15 million to settle a California civil rights agency’s claims that the tech company paid women less than men, subjected female workers to sexual harassment and retaliated against them for complaining.

The California Civil Rights Department announced the settlement, which is subject to court approval, in a release on Wednesday. The deal would resolve an investigation that began more than three years ago, the agency said.

Santa Monica-based Snap in a statement provided by a spokesperson said the company is committed to maintaining a fair and inclusive environment and denied engaging in systemic discrimination against women.

“While we disagreed with the California Civil Rights Department’s claims and analyses, we took into consideration the cost and impact of lengthy litigation … and decided it is in the best interest of the company to resolve these claims and focus on the future,” the company said.

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The state agency has brokered several large settlements in sex discrimination cases in recent years, including a $100 million deal with videogame maker Riot Games in 2021 and a $54 million settlement with Activision Blizzard last year. Those companies denied wrongdoing.

The department in Wednesday’s release said Snap underwent a period of rapid growth between 2015 and 2022 but failed to put measures into place to ensure that women were paid and promoted equally.

“Instead, women encountered a glass ceiling and were told to wait their turn, were actively discouraged from applying for promotions, or lost promotion opportunities to less qualified male colleagues,” the agency said.

The department also alleged that female workers were subjected to unwelcome sexual advances and other harassing conduct. Women who complained were denied professional opportunities or fired, according to the agency.

Along with the payout, Snap has agreed to retain an independent consultant to evaluate its compensation and promotion policies, ensure that contracts with staffing agencies require compliance with anti-discrimination laws, and conduct training on the prevention of discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment, the department said.



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