Could talking smack about your ex-job cost you millions?

An employee went scorched earth when he reviewed the tech company that fired him. Now, they’re suing for $1m.

Could a bad Glassdoor review cost you $1m+? We’re about to find out.

Could talking smack about your ex-job cost you millions?

Software engineer Wyatt Troia wrote negative reviews about working at LoanStreet, a New York-based fintech startup, on Glassdoor, Reddit, and Blind.

Now, LoanStreet CEO Ian Lampl is suing Troia in a $1m defamation suit, per Business Insider. Meanwhile, Troia is raising defense money via GoFundMe.

Troia claims:

  • 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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