Medina Bardhi, who said she was pregnant twice while at the firm and took maternity leave each time, claims discrimination began when she was interviewed for work in 2013, according to a complaint , filed Thursday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She said Neumann asked her at the time if she would "marry and become pregnant."
Bardy claims that discrimination continues. She claims that before she took leave, there were a number of disturbing comments made by Neumann and Jennifer Brent, a longtime WeWork CEO who currently serves as chief legal officer. Neumann is said to characterize maternity leave as "retirement" and "vacation", while Berrent claims her pregnancy was a "problem" that had to be "remedied".
In a statement to CNN Business regarding the full complaint, a WeWork spokesman said: "WeWork intends to vigorously defend itself against this claim. We have zero tolerance for any type of discrimination. We are committed to moving the company forward and building a company and culture. that our employees can be proud of. "
A Neumann representative pointed to CNN Business at WeWork for his statement to the company.
In the complaint, Bardi claimed that months before continuing his first maternity leave at WeWork, Neumann and Berrent hired a man as chief of staff, paying him a salary of $ 400,000 with a signing bonus of $ 1
"Such a clear gender pay gap was a norm and part of WeWork's model and practice," the complaint said.
Upon her return after her leave, Bardi said she was "downgraded" and her role was "drastically and materially reduced", while the men who were paid more than her were promoted and replaced. Bardy claims that after discovering her second pregnancy, Neumann, Berrent and other executives sought her permanent replacement. When she returned a second time, she learned she was no longer part of the CEO's office and had been "sidelined and denied any significant work for months," the complaint said.
Bardi states the condition of the nursing room accessible to staff in the absence of care provided to new mothers. According to the complaint, the lactation hall she was supposed to use was "irrefutably unsanitary", even though there were between five and 10 employees who used it in the same way.