Former Employee Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against SF Startup - NBC Bay Area
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Former Employee Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against SF Startup

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Legal trouble and image problems continue the grow at one of the Bay Area's fastest growing startups, Social Finance, or SoFi. Robert Handa reports. (Published Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017)

    Legal trouble and image problems continue the grow at one of the Bay Area's fastest growing startups, Social Finance, or SoFi.

    The company's co-founder and CEO Mike Cagney abruptly resigned last week amid accusations of questionable business practices and out of control sexual behavior.

    On Thursday, a former employee who described the company as a "frat house," filed a lawsuit.

    The former employee, Yulia Zamora, spoke publicly about the lawsuit, saying she's determined to "speak up" for herself and many other women in a similar work situation.

    Zamora, an underwriter at SoFi from 2015 to 2016, said Cagney created a "frat house" environment that was "out of control," with drinking parties and sexual harassment, including such behavior from her own supervisor.

    "Just the things he told me really surprised me," Zamora said. "It blew me out of the water. Like, 'Is he really saying these things to me?'"

    Zamora said her supervisor once told her at a party that he "wanted to do sexy things with me."

    She said it was happening with other employees.

    Zamora's attorney, Robert Ottinger, also represents another former SoFi employee, a male office manager who expressed concern about sexual harassment incidents.

    "Normally, a company would say, 'Thank you for letting us know that; we're going to fix it.' Instead, they fired Mr. Charles," Ottinger said. "So it really shows that they're not concerned about fixing the problem. They want to hide it."

    Zamora said she was afraid at first to speak up.

    "I was terrified," she said. "I mean I'm still scared to do it, even today. I feel like it's the right thing to do. Perhaps speaking out will enable other people to also speak out about their experiences."

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