Alleged discrimination at blockchain startup

Quick Take

  • Monette Stephens v. Tokensoft, Inc. et al.
  • Plaintiff alleges age and sex discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”)
  • Plaintiff was hired as head of corporate development, for a set fee plus commission, without benefits or equity, while two younger male employees were hired as employees with benefits and equity
  • The Complaint details a narrative that excludes the plaintiff from any meaningful opportunity within the company and instead throwing full support behind the younger male employees

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes.

As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP".

[related id=1]Monette Stephens v. Tokensoft, Inc. et al., Cal. Superior Court (County of San Francisco, Case Number CGC-19–574792, 3/26/2019) [SDP]

This lawsuit alleges age and sex discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) against a company that describes itself as providing “institutional grade compliance for blockchain-based securities.” (As a reminder, lawsuits such as this one contains unproven allegations — the plaintiff has the burden of proof and the defendant will have the opportunity to answer and deny the allegations or seek dismissal of the claims).

According to the Plaintiff she is a 55 year old woman who is a business and technology leader with a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering who was previously qualified with Series 7, 24 and 63 FINRA investment banking qualifications. She was hired by TokenSoft’s CEO to serve as Head of Corporate Development, for a set fee plus commission, without benefits or equity.

In May 2018 she says she asked the CEO if she could accompany him to a blockchain conference in New York, presumably Consensus. He allegedly said there was no point in both of attending, but then took a dude (younger) with him instead and then hired him to be the Direct of East Coast Operations and Business Development and then (allegedly) hired another dude (also younger) to be head of Corporate Development. Both of them were hired as employees, with benefits and equity.


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