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While there are state and federal laws in place to protect American employees from on-the-job discrimination, many workers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. are still forced to endure sexism and sexual harassment when they report to their office. Worse, some of these workers face retaliation, such as wrongful termination, if they speak out against the discrimination. This can even happen at the executive level.

Pinterest accused of discriminating against female executives

For example, the former chief operating officer of Pinterest recently filed a lawsuit against the image-sharing website claiming that the company fostered a toxic work environment for female executives. According to court documents, the plaintiff boasted a long list of accomplishments, including doubling the company’s profits, during her tenure with Pinterest. Despite her success, she claims that she was fired after speaking out against the company’s hostile work environment, misogyny and widespread discrimination. In addition to the lawsuit, she posted a blog on Medium listing the company’s “insidious and real” gender discrimination issues, which she said included the marginalization and silencing of female employees.

Other Pinterest employees have backed the plaintiff’s claims. Two Black women claim that they suffered “rampant discrimination” while working at the company. In addition, a group of current Pinterest employees organized a virtual walkout to protest the company’s alleged discriminatory practices. In a statement to the press, Pinterest said that it wanted to have an open dialogue with employees to address the issue. It also said it was conducting a review of its policies, practices and culture.

Legal options

Employees who are subjected to on-the-job discrimination might find relief by contacting an attorney familiar with employment law. Legal counsel may review a victim’s case and explain how to properly document incidents of discrimination. Once this evidence is gathered, it may be used to file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the complaint is successful, the victim might be awarded compensation for back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress and more.