Could a bad Glassdoor review cost you $1m+? We’re about to find out.
Software engineer Wyatt Troia wrote negative reviews about working at LoanStreet, a New York-based fintech startup, on Glassdoor, Reddit, and Blind.
- After “15 months of praise,” he was fired after finding mistakes in a “favorite” engineer’s code
- He was promised $100k in equity that he never received
- He also called LoanStreet “a raging dumpster fire.”
LoanStreet’s lawsuit alleges:
- Troia’s claims are false and threaten its employees’ livelihoods
- He was fired for poor performance and lack of engagement
- He used paid Google ads to boost his posts
- Readers sent execs disparaging messages on LinkedIn
How important are employee reviews?
Negative reviews or press can affect a company’s image (e.g., the Blizzard Entertainment boycott). But they can also impact a company’s ability to attract talent.
A survey from marketing agency Fractl found:
- 84% of job seekers look at reviews
- ⅓ turned down jobs over negative reviews
- Disgruntled employees are most likely to leave reviews
Courts have favored Glassdoor and reviewers in the past
- A craft beer store attempted to sue Glassdoor over its refusal to remove negative reviews. Glassdoor motioned for dismissal and the court agreed because Glassdoor didn’t write the reviews and they revealed no confidential info.
- A court also denied a tech company’s request that Glassdoor reveal the writer of an anonymous post it claimed violated an NDA.
Troia’s case is a bit different, but the result could impact how safe ex-employees feel about naming and shaming.
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