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Spotify Sued Over Sales Team’s ‘Boys’ Trips’ to Strip Clubs

A female employee alleges that women were paid less than their male counterparts and that the company discriminated based on gender.

A female sales executive sued Spotify on Tuesday, alleging that the head of sales took his staff on drug-fueled “boys’ trips” to the Sundance Film Festival, and excluded women who were better qualified.

Hong Perez filed suit in New York Supreme Court, accusing the streaming company of systemically discriminating against female employees. Perez alleges that her boss, Brian Berner, selected an all-male group to attend Sundance in 2016 and 2017, and that some of the men got into a physical altercation during one of the trips.

Perez also alleges that another Spotify executive was promoted after receiving warnings for sexual harassment, and that the executive took male sales staffers to strip clubs in Atlantic City. She also quotes the company’s CFO as saying at a town hall that “he does not care about diversity at the company,” and that an HR executive told staffers that his favorite curse word was “c—.”

Reached for comment, a company rep told Variety: “At Spotify, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at any level. While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending litigation, these claims are without merit.”

The suit also alleges that the global head of sales gave higher compensation and equity to men than to women. She also states that she raised concerns with the HR executive over a “double standard,” after the executive went easy on a male executive accused of sexual harassment.

Perez alleges that in March, Berner got in hot water with his supervisors for a discounting arrangement with a buyer and his acceptance of free tickets to Madison Square Garden. She claims that Berner managed to evade culpability by blaming her for the situation. Berner then fired her for purported violations of the company’s Code of Conduct.

Perez is accusing the company of defamation and gender discrimination.

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