December 01, 2020

A shareholder has accused Pinterest executives of violating their fiduciary duty by engaging in or ignoring racial and gender discrimination, making it yet another lawsuit this year related to Pinterest’s workplace culture as the firm’s reputation as a “nice” tech company continues to falter.

The lawsuit alleges Pinterest co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp, CFO Todd Morgenfeld, as well as the company’s board “personally engaged in, facilitated or knowingly ignored the discrimination and retaliation against those who spoke up and challenged the Company’s White, male leadership clique.”

The suit was filed by the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, which has owned Pinterest shares since June, according to Fast Company, and focuses on discrimination claims that have already been made public this year.

The lawsuit calls out CEO Silbermann in particular for intentionally excluding former COO Françoise Brougher from critical activities and board meetings and for failing to address discrimination and retaliation against two Black former employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks.

The complaint accuses members of Pinterest’s board of abdicating their fiduciary duties by “approving compensation to Brougher that underpaid her relative to similarly situated male colleagues” and alleges Morgenfield gave her biased performance reviews based on her gender.

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Critical Quote

“I’m glad that [the plaintiff’s lawyers] Cohen Milstein is pursuing this on behalf of the clients but even if it’s successful there still needs to be justice for me and Aerica and the other people who have been harmed by the behavior of Pinterest managers and executives who are still on the job,” Ozoma told Fast Company.

The complete article can be accessed here.