SoFi is looking down the barrel of another lawsuit, the third to be filed against the company within the last few months.
Like the other two, this lawsuit alleges that SoFi's notorious "frathouse" culture led to the sexual harassment of one loan reviewer, Yulia Zamora. According to Bloomberg's report on the filing, Zamora's suit describes "rampant sexual activity" happening in "bathrooms and parked cars." It's the kind of scandalous rumor you hear about if you're somewhat invested in tech at all or if you watch Silicon Valley, I suppose.
This lawsuit joins a few others, including one from former senior operations manager Brandon Charles. According to the LA Times, that particular suit alleges that the company fired Charles after he reported witnessing his managers engaging in sexual harassment.
Zamora's suit continued to lay bare some of the more disturbing behaviors, including managers telling subordinates that the only way they could earn promotions was through "personal mentorships" with senior employees, as described by Bloomberg. She had entered into one such relationship with Adam Cobb, the director of operations, saying that she believed it to be a professional one. Turns out it wasn't, as she says that Cobb propositioned her at an after-party following their company Christmas party. After reporting Cobb, she was met with laughter, and heard her story spread around the office.
NBC Bay Area shared Zamora's disbelief at the situations she had to deal with. She said, "Just the things he told me really surprised me. It blew me out of the water. Like, 'Is he really saying these things to me?" Additionally, her supervisor apparently said he "wanted to do sexy things" with her. Blech.
Previously, SoFi had already ousted their CEO, Mike Cagney, after he was accused of sexually harassing and propositioning the people who worked underneath him. This all happened while his wife served as the company's CTO, according to the SF Business Times.
The stories Zamora shares in her case are more common than one might think, as we've been hearing many stories of harassment and discrimination in the tech industry in particular in the last few years, with around 60 percent of women in the industry reporting instances of sexual harassment. Uber's made headlines lately with its own struggles, partly around its allegedly discriminatory practices regarding female employees.
SoFi issued a statement to Bloomberg, writing, "[W]hile we can’t comment on the specific allegations in this lawsuit, harassment of any kind has no place at SoFi. The board and management of SoFi are committed to creating a culture where employees can thrive." Whether the court will agree with that remains yet to be seen.
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