Many Florida readers may be familiar with young entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal, founder of tech company Gravity4. The CEO is now being sued by one of his first employees for sexual harassment. When the plaintiff was enticed to come onboard as a designer with a promise of 1% stock option and help with his immigration status, he thought that he was making a good decision.
During the plaintiff's first four months with the company, he claims that he was never given a salary, his stock option or assistance with his visa. Chahal also allegedly made lewd comments to female applicants and employees. When the plaintiff complained, he was allegedly told by Chahal via Skype that what Chahal was doing was only conducting research. The abuse also extended to the plaintiff. He was called derogatory names based on his race and had sexual comments made about his genitalia.
The situation escalated after an incident with Chabal's new girlfriend. She had apparently called the police after being kicked. Chabal called the plaintiff and wanted him to come over and lie to the police, stating he and a bodyguard were present. When the plaintiff refused, he was threatened that he would beat him up and send him on a flight back to Canada. Ultimately, the plaintiff was fired and claims that Chabal had hacked his social media accounts.
This is not the only suit being filed against Chabal as he is also being accused of discrimination by a former female employee. A spokesperson for Gravity4 commented that the sexual harassment claims are baseless and that Chabal will defend himself against the allegations. Sexual harassment is a horrible experience that no Florida employees should ever be forced to endure. In most instances, reporting such behavior will cause it to stop, but in others, legal action may be needed.
Source: Forbes, "Gurbaksh Chahal Sued Again: Former Employee Alleges Harassment, Intimidation, Racial Slurs", Ellen Huet, Sept. 14, 2015