SoFi Is Being Sued by an Employee Claiming He Was Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment

Aug 13, 2017

A former employee of the lending startup Social Finance, better known as SoFi, has filed a California lawsuit alleging that he was fired for reporting sexual harassment of female coworkers. The plaintiff’s lawyer says a broader class-action lawsuit will be filed next week on behalf of mistreated SoFi employees.

The lawsuit also reportedly alleges impropriety in the handling of loans and loan applications at the company. That includes managers manipulating records to boost their own pay, a charge reminiscent of a massive scandal that recently engulfed Wells Fargo.

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The lawsuit was filed by Brandon Charles, who according the New York Times, only worked at a SoFi loan processing office for a few months. During that time, the lawsuit claims his manager used “explicit sexual innuendo” when speaking, and made “lewd, sexualized gestures” when referring female employees.

Charles claims he was fired after reporting the behavior, and was told that reporting it to his supervisors was outside of his “appropriate duties.”

A spokesman for SoFi told the Times that an internal investigation had found Charles' claims to have "no merit." A spokesperson later told Fortune that SoFi managers cannot un-assign loan applications once assigned to a reviewer and loan applications cannot be cancelled except by the applicant themselves or by time expiration.

SoFi, while fundamentally a finance company, has cultivated tech-world cachet by touting its data science and quirky culture. Now it will join a less-appealing techie club—controversies over sexual harassment and gender discrimination have recently roiled Uber, venture capital funds, and, just last week, Google.

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