Mergemarket Lawsuits Headed for Mediation
Battling lawsuits between Mergemarket Ltd. and former employees has been ordered to mediation by the court. The initial lawsuit was filed by former employees Valeria Girimonte and Flavia Santana, who claimed both gender and racial discrimination at the offices they described as a ‘Boy’s Club’ where male supervisors routinely engaged in romantic affairs with subordinates without consequences and a hostile working environment was created by upper management when they did nothing to curtail the behavior of their management staff or to educate other employees about harassment and acceptable behavior.
Both employees left Mergemarket to form their own company, REDD Latin America. Mergemarket denies all claims of discrimination and of fostering a hostile work environment, and filed a counter-suit alleging that Girimonte and Santana launched REDD while still employed by Mergemarket, using their employer’s resources, time, and contacts in order to launch a competing business that pursues Mergemarket’s customers in direct competition. Mergemarket further claims that the sexual harassment complaints were only raised when it issued a cease-and-desist order based on the non-compete clause in both Girimonte and Santana’s contracts. In response, Girimonte and Santana have announced they will amend their complaint with more charges of harassment and discrimination.
Both sides have been given until June 11th by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to schedule a mediation session. There is no limit on the duration of the mediation. If no settlement can be achieved in mediation, both lawsuits will return to the courts to be heard.