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Spotify sued for alleged gender discrimination over 'boys' trips' to Sundance, strip clubs

The company is also accused of violating equal pay laws.


Spotify is being sued over gender discrimination. 

Chesnot / Getty Images

Spotify is being sued for alleged gender discrimination and equal pay violations.

Hong Perez, a former sales executive at Spotify, alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the music-streaming service systematically discriminates against women. In the suit, filed with the New York Supreme Court, Perez accuses Brian Berner, her manager, of selecting male-only groups of employees to attend company trips to the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and 2017. The trips, meant to be client networking opportunities, were referred to internally as Berner's "boys' trips." Some attendees allegedly used drugs during these trips, and one allegedly got into a physical altercation in one occasion. 

Perez's lawsuit details other instances of discrimination at the world's largest music-streaming the service.

Berner's boss, not named in the lawsuit, also allegedly promoted a male employee who was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint, according to the lawsuit. The employee, who allegedly received multiple warnings from Spotify, accompanied male managers to strip clubs on a business trip to Atlantic City, according to the lawsuit.

Spotify executives, including Berner, are also accused in the lawsuit of turning a blind eye to gender discrimination within the company, giving male employees higher pay and firing Perez on baseless claims.

Spotify and Berner didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Silicon Valley giants have faced growing scrutiny over gender discrimination for the past several years. Ellen Pao sued venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins for gender discrimination in 2012, and three years later both Facebook and Twitter were hit with lawsuits accusing the companies of gender bias and discrimination. In July, Uber faced a federal investigation over workplace gender discrimination claims. This month, Melinda Gates' investment company co-produced a report that found tech companies' million-dollar philanthropies didn't help much when it comes to hiring and promoting more women in the industry.

Perez's lawyer didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.