Pinterest Inc. is facing an investigation by the California Civil Rights Department, the company confirmed, after a number of employees brought forward discrimination claims in recent years.
An agency attorney on Tuesday emailed several former employees, including Ifeoma Ozoma, who went public in 2020 with allegations of underpayment and racial discrimination. “CCRD is conducting an investigation into Pinterest Inc. and you have been identified as a potential witness,” the email says, according to a copy viewed by Bloomberg.
Pinterest confirmed the inquiry, which was earlier reported by Protocol.
“The California Civil Rights Department (CCRD) is conducting investigations of a number of companies, and Pinterest is one of them,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Our discussions with the CCRD are ongoing and we remain committed to reviewing and evolving our people practices to best support our employees.”
In late 2020, Pinterest paid $20 million to settle a gender-discrimination case brought by former chief operating officer Francoise Brougher. She alleged she was paid less than her male peers, excluded from the company’s initial public offering process and eventually fired for speaking out about discrimination.
She came forward after the public statements by two Black women, Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, who said they were underpaid and that the company’s human resources department had dismissed their claims of discrimination. Pinterest has previously said it investigated those cases and found no wrongdoing.
The company added that it has been investing in policies to improve representation in the technology industry, and at Pinterest.
The CCRD, formerly known as the Department of Fair Employement and Housing, had no comment.