Feedfeed settles former employee discrimination lawsuit

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Feedfeed and the two former employees who sued the media and food network company resolved their legal differences last month, according to court documents, quietly ending the often acrimonious case.

The federal discrimination case was formally dismissed Nov. 11, according to public records. No one involved in the lawsuit would comment on his rejection. They also wouldn’t say if there was a cash settlement for Rachel Gurjar and Sahara Henry-Bohoskey, who accused Feedfeed founders Dan and Julie Resnick of fostering a work culture in which white employees thrived while that the plaintiffs, both women of color, were paid less. , insulted and retaliated against when they complained.

In their lawsuit, filed Jan. 4 in federal court in New York, Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey alleged that Feedfeed was a place that condoned casual racism and sexism. They claimed they were tasked with menial work and used to promote Feedfeed’s diversity while being treated as “second class employees”. They also claimed that their rise in the Feedfeed organization chart was slower than that of their white colleagues, and that they were encouraged not to take lunch breaks and were regularly required to work evenings and weekends, often not receiving any overtime during these hours.

Women allege racism and sexism in food media company Feedfeed

As part of their lawsuit, the women also accused Jake Cohen, hired in December 2018 as Feedfeed’s editorial and test kitchen manager, of fostering a hostile work environment. Cohen was one of four named defendants, including the Resnicks and Feedfeed LLC.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the Resnicks provided a statement to The Washington Post, calling the allegations “simply untrue.” Cohen, who left Feedfeed in August 2020, also provided the Post with a statement at the time, saying the allegations against him were false, misleading and/or embellished.

In January, the Resnicks also indicated that they were looking forward to clearing their name in court. They claimed that Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey never reached their potential at Feedfeed and became rebellious as the business became more structured.

The case was never taken to court.

According to court records, the court “strongly encouraged the parties to discuss a settlement” in late May. By August, the “parties had reached a tentative settlement after mediation,” but the following month the court agreed to give the parties “additional time to finalize the settlement.”

Details of a final settlement are confidential. According to court records, all parties agreed to a confidentiality agreement in early May. Bryn Goodman, one of the defendants’ attorneys, did not respond to an email for comment. Neither did lawyers for Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey, save for a one-sentence email from attorney Susan Crumiller.

“Litigation has been discontinued and the parties have resolved their dispute amicably,” Crumiller wrote.

Gurjur, Henry-Bohoskey, the Resnicks and Cohen also did not respond to requests for comment.

The two parties attempted to settle the dispute before Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey filed their lawsuit, but were never able to reach an agreement. There was a payment to the women, acknowledged by both parties, but it came long before the lawsuit was filed: in October 2021, months after Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey left and after The Post began reporting. ask for a story, Feedfeed sent the women checks for more than $31,000 each for unpaid overtime. The Post reviewed photocopies of each check.

Matthew Berger, then Feedfeed’s attorney, said the company disagreed with the overtime demands, but “to the extent that there was inadvertent underpayment during their employment, we wanted make sure they were compensated”.

As part of its response to the lawsuit, Feedfeed filed counterclaims against the plaintiffs. The company alleged that Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey illegally recorded phone calls when one of the founders was in California, a state that requires consent from all parties before someone can record a conversation. Transcripts of some of those calls were used in the trial. Feedfeed was seeking $5,000 for each alleged violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

The resolution of the case apparently includes Feedfeed’s counterclaims.

Two months after the lawsuit was filed, Feedfeed closed its offices in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, where Gurjar and Henry-Bohoskey had worked. The company auctioned many items used in the office and event space, including a collection of copper pots and Le Creuset cookware.

Feedfeed is currently based in Los Angeles, not far from where the Resnicks bought a home in the Sunset Mesa neighborhood of Malibu in August 2020, six months after laying off two employees at the start of the pandemic. (One of the employees was Giora Stuchiner, Feedfeed’s former artistic and experiential director, who the Resnicks say was fired for cause after inappropriate behavior with the plaintiffs and others at Feedfeed.)

A Mumbai native and Culinary Institute of America graduate, Gurjar started at Feedfeed in May 2018. She left the company in December 2020, shortly after being denied a vacation bonus for what the Resnicks said. was, among other things, repeated violations of the “company’s policy on posting content for competitors and current customers”. Two months later, she started as an associate food writer at Bon Appétit, where she works today.

Henry-Bohoskey, daughter of a mother of European descent and a Jamaican father, grew up in Japan. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and worked in the fashion industry before joining Feedfeed in October 2018. She quit in January 2021, even though she was pregnant and would sacrifice her mandatory maternity leave. Henry-Bohoskey moved to Los Angeles, where she is a freelance recipe developer and content creator.

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