Former executive sues Unity Technologies CEO for sexual harassment
In the aftermath of the Me Too movement, there has been a lot of media coverage focusing on reports of sexual harassment in the tech industry and the associated problems with the workplace culture of various companies. A recent lawsuit against the CEO of Unity Technologies described the San Francisco-based video game company as having a “highly sexualized” workplace. Unity Technologies develops software for Pokémon Go and other games.
Anne Evans, the multibillion-dollar company’s former vice president of global talent acquisition, sued CEO John Riccitiello for sexual harassment and wrongful termination in San Francisco County Superior Court. She also alleged retaliation for resisting sexual advances and failure to prevent discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, the sexual harassment allegedly took many forms. Evans claimed Riccitiello and other male executives openly discussed their sexual pursuits, made sexual comments, and propositioned her and other female workers for sex. One incident involved Riccitiello propositioning Evans and two of her direct reports for sex. He then threatened Evans to prevent her from speaking out about his alleged misconduct.
In response to the lawsuit, Unity Technologies issued a statement saying Evans was fired after an outside investigation found she had “engaged in serious misconduct” and shown “a gross lapse in judgment.” The statement also claimed Evans had many chances to voice her concerns confidentially, but she never did.
However, Evans’ lawsuit pointed out that Unity had a work environment that made it difficult for employees to report any problems they were experiencing without fear of retaliation. This was because Riccitiello was involved in a consensual relationship with the head of human resources.
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