Snapchat agrees to $15 million settlement with California

The social media company was accused of having issues with discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment.

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has agreed to a $15 million settlement with California following a three-year investigation into allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment by female employees.

The probe found that between 2015 and 2022, Snap Inc. failed to treat female employees fairly, with instances of discouragement from applying for promotions, lost promotions to less-qualified male colleagues, unwelcome sexual advances, and other harassment.


The big picture: State civil rights officials stated that female employees who spoke up faced retaliation in the form of negative performance reviews, denial of professional opportunities, and termination.

  • The settlement, which is subject to court approval, requires Snap to pay $15 million in direct relief to workers and litigation costs, with $14.5 million compensating female workers employed at the company between 2014 and 2024.
  • As part of the settlement, Snap has agreed to hire an independent consultant to advise the company’s pay and promotion policies, as well as conduct a third-party audit on its sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination compliance.
  • The settlement adds to a series of recent actions California officials have taken to hold tech giants accountable, including a $54 million settlement with Activision Blizzard and a multi-state lawsuit against Google resulting in a $700 million settlement.

What they’re saying: “In California, we’re proud of the work of our state’s innovators who are a driving force of our nation’s economy,” said Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish in a statement. “We’re also proud of the strength of our state’s civil rights laws, which help ensure every worker is protected against discrimination and has an opportunity to thrive.”

  • Snap Inc. disagreed, saying it does not believe it has ongoing systemic pay equity, discrimination, harassment or retaliation issues. 
  • “While we disagreed with the California Civil Rights Department’s claims and analyses, we took into consideration the cost and impact of lengthy litigation, and the scope of the CRD’s other settlements, and decided it is in the best interest of the company to resolve these claims and focus on the future,” Snap Inc. said in a statement.
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