Not only did Bay Area coding platform GitHub give a former legal executive lower compensation because of her ethnicity and gender, it altered her stellar performance review to justify firing her, she claimed in a lawsuit.
Agnes Pak, who said in the suit that she worked as a top attorney at GitHub from February 2017 until her termination in April, alleged that because she’s a woman of Korean descent, she received a lower signing bonus and salary, and fewer stock options, than other senior GitHub executives with less experience and career seniority.
GitHub, used by 24 million software developers last year and headquartered in San Francisco, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft in a $7.5 billion deal.
Pak claimed in her suit that after taking on the duties of GitHub’s male Hispanic chief legal officer following his promotion, Pak was paid less than he was for doing the same work. She also did work similar to that of a female, Jewish legal executive, who had little to no experience with several areas of corporate law, but Pak received fewer stock options than the woman, Pak alleged in the suit filed Friday in San Francisco County Superior Court.
Once she learned her compensation was lower than she believed it should be, she complained to a superior, and believed the matter was being addressed, she claimed. She also complained to the company’s human resources department and to members of her team, she said in the suit. Meanwhile, she received an annual performance review in April that gave her the highest-possible rating, and consequently received the highest-possible raise and a “generous” bonus, she claimed.
But she was soon fired, with a superior — the Hispanic former chief legal officer — citing her “unprofessional” complaints about compensation, she alleged.
After she was sacked, she asked for and received her employment file, which contained a performance review with a lower rating than the one she had originally been given, and the review included performance issues that hadn’t been raised during her review meeting, she claimed. She alleged that her review had been changed, “to create a false justification for her termination.”
Pak is seeking at least $20 million in stock options, and an equal amount in damages.