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Former WeWork employee files discrimination lawsuit

James Leggate

A former WeWork human resources lawyer filed a lawsuit against the office space rental company Friday alleging race and gender discrimination at the embattled company.

Ayesha Whyte said in the complaint that WeWork hired her away from a good job at The Walt Disney with promises of a $195,000 salary and the title “director of employee relations” at its New York City headquarters in 2018, The Real Deal reported.

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After Whyte took the job and moved her family, she said that the company told her that she would instead remain at a Washington, D.C. office with a role to be determined, according to the report. That ended up being a different title with a 20 percent pay cut, less money than she’d been making at her previous Disney job.

Then, Whyte, who is black, said she had to review candidates for the director role she’d been offered, and the company ended up picking a white woman who’d been turned down for two other roles for being underqualified, according to the report.

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Meanwhile, a white man who was hired temporarily for a position similar to Whyte’s was paid more than twice what she made, the New York Post reported.

A WeWork spokesperson told FOX Business that Whyte’s allegations were not true.

"At WeWork, we prioritize equal employment opportunity, including hiring, promotion and compensation, and believe these claims are wholly without merit," the spokesperson said.

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Whyte said she filed a human resources department complaint last year, but an internal investigation found no wrongdoing, according to the reports. After complaining again in the fall, she was fired.

WeWork has faced several complaints from former employees. In October, a former aide to co-founder Adam Neumann — who has since been ousted from the company — said she was discriminated against for becoming pregnant, the Associated Press reported. And two other women have filed lawsuits against the company, with one alleging gender-based pay gaps at WeWork and the other saying she was sexually assaulted by male employees.

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