TikTok sued by former executive alleging gender discrimination
The big picture: Attorneys for Katie Puris, who was the Global Head of Brand & Creative at TikTok, claim she experienced multiple forms of discrimination and was "ultimately unlawfully terminated," per a court filing.
- Puris is seeking "declaratory, injunctive, and equitable relief, as well as monetary damages."
Details: In the complaint, filed in a federal court in New York, Puris' attorneys allege that she was "subjected to disparate treatment and ultimately unlawfully terminated because Lidong Zhang [chairman of ByteDance] and other corporate executives determined that Ms. Puris lacked the docility and meekness specifically required of female employees."
They also claim that Zhang had a "stereotypical view of the way women should behave" and that Puris "did not fit that stereotypical gender mold."
- Her attorneys also claim that when "Puris reported she was sexually harassed at an off-site TikTok event," the app and its parent company "failed to respond appropriately, causing Ms. Puris to choose between her own safety and work opportunities."
- Her attorneys also claim that after she reported the alleged "discriminatory treatment and sexual harassment," TikTok and ByteDance "failed to take any corrective action."
What she's saying: "As a woman who started her career in 1995, I was taught to be quiet if I wanted to be successful. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment were commonplace, but speaking out was career suicide," Puris said in a statement regarding the complaint.
- "Wisdom has taught me that I no longer need to be silenced or afraid to fight for change."
Representatives for TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment Thursday.