HR Company Sued For Sexual Assault & Gender Discrimination

Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
HR company BetterWorks is under scrutiny after news of former employee Beatrice Kim's lawsuit against the company and its CEO came to light.
Kim is suing the HR company and its CEO Kris Duggan for allegedly sexually assaulting her at a company retreat that was only broken up when a co-worker intervened. As TechCrunch reports, the performance management software startup's regional VP Matt Hart and VP of People Operations Tamara Cooksey are also implicated in the lawsuit, allegedly for allowing sexual harassment in the workplace and not taking action against Duggan for the assault when it was reported.
BetterWorks was co-launched by Duggan in 2013. His goal was to create an enterprise software company that employees could use to better set and track their performance goals, raising over $35 million via investors.
Kim's lawsuit specifically states certain requirements. Along with sexual harassment, Kim's lawsuit also cites gender discrimination, assault, and battery. Her lawyers also call BetterWork a "hostile work environment" in the lawsuit. Her lawyer, Conor D. Mack of Arena Hoffman LLP, spoke with TechCrunch about the lawsuit and the demand for a jury trial.
“As described in the verified complaint, we intend to prove that BetterWorks CEO Kris Duggan assaulted Plaintiff Bea Kim in a sexually suggestive manner, ignoring her protests and attempts to free herself from Duggan until a coworker had to physically intervene," Mack said. "We also intend to prove that BetterWorks fosters a hostile and discriminatory work environment for women by tacitly endorsing and actively covering up abusive misconduct by members of senior management.”
From astronauts to social media users, sexual harassment and sexism is still a routine part of many women's lives, especially in the tech world. As Kim's lawsuit against BetterWork continues, it's a reminder that there is still so much work to be done with dismantling sexism in the workplace.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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