Woman Sues Meta, Claims Company Discriminated Against Her For Being Female, Pregnant, Fired Her When She Complained - Shegerian Law

A new lawsuit accuses Facebook-parent company Meta Platforms of discriminating against a woman on the basis of sex, and then allegedly firing her when she complained.

Talia Kennedy filed a new lawsuit against Meta Platforms and more than 100 individual defendants on Jan. 31 in San Francisco County Superior Court. Kennedy is accusing Meta of violations of the Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) and Title 2.

Meta Platforms, Inc. is a multinational technology giant based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among other products and services.

According to the complaint, Kennedy has been a Meta employee since 2018. She claims she was recognized repeatedly as a top performer, earning accolades and performance bonuses in her role as a product manager (PM), which the complaint says is a highly visible position working with a team to build and scale software.

Kennedy claims she experienced and observed multiple events of mistreatment she alleges were discriminatory, even hostile at times, based on what she claims was her female status. She attempted to report conduct she viewed as unwelcome, intimidating, oppressive and contributed to a hostile work environment.

Shortly after joining the Meta team, Kennedy reached out to her hiring manager to join his team. She was also five months pregnant at the time. Her hiring manager, also a PM for Instagram, allegedly declined to select her for an open role on his team, a role he previously stated she was qualified for.

The suit alleges that during discussions about the role, the hiring manager expressed concerns about her “circumstances”. Supposedly, he also told Kennedy that another female employee was given a junior role beneath him because she had recently had a baby. Kennedy contends that she allegedly was not selected for any open roles with Meta while she was pregnant and alleges another hiring manager said that while she was the top choice, she would not be selected because of her pregnancy.

According to the complaint, in August 2019 Kennedy was “elevated” to a lead PM role with more responsibility but did not receive additional compensation. She claims her communication style was heavily criticized, and she reported what she felt was gender-biased feedback. The suit claims HR failed to investigate her claims.

In 2022, the hiring manager allegedly reorganized his team and, according to the lawsuit, stripped Kennedy of her key role responsibilities purportedly without cause. He allegedly continued to deny her advancement, allegedly exclusively hiring male employees for any open role available.

While Kennedy continued to openly voice her concerns to HR, Meta allegedly ignored her claims refusing to investigate as their policy on discrimination mandated. She was eventually terminated on Oct. 18, 2022, after Meta allegedly accused her of violating company policy and supposed “gaps” in her performance.

Kennedy is seeking a trial by jury, actual and punitive damages, legal fees and court costs.

Plaintiff is represented by Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers Carney R. Shegerian, Anthony Nguyen and Leo Livshits, of the firm of Shegerian & Associates, of Los Angeles.

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