Gurbaksh Chahal, the ousted CEO of the ad-tech company RadiumOne who went on to found Gravity4, is now being sued by a former Gravity4 employee for wrongful termination.
Yousef Khraibut, who joined Gravity4 as its third employee in June 2014 at the age of 19, filed a complaint in San Francisco Civil Courthouse on Monday claiming that the company never paid him, that Chahal defamed him, and that he was harassed and discriminated against, among other things.
Khraibut also claims Chahal asked him to help cover up an alleged domestic violence incident.
Khriabut was fired four months into the job.
Among the complaints in his wrongful termination lawsuit, Khraibut asserts:
- Chahal allegedly wanted Khraibut to cover for him during a domestic violence incident in September 2014.Chahal allegedly called Khraibut to come over after Chahal’s girlfriend called the police to report that he had kicked her. According to the complaint, Chahal wanted Khraibut to lie and say that he’d been there during the incident to corroborate Chahal’s story to the police. Khraibut refused, which “enraged” Chahal, the complaint says. Later that night, Khraibut used the alleged victim’s phone to try to delete photos of Chahal’s prescriptions, but wiped the phone entirely, according to the San Francisco Police Department’s Chronological Report of Investigation, viewed by Business Insider.
- Gravity4’s key software was allegedly stolen from another company. The complaint states that Gravity4 co-founder Dan Grigorovici had “taken” the company’s data management platform from his former employer, Lotame (which bought AdMobius, a company Grigorovici co-founded). The software was allegedly “scrubbed” to remove any mentions of the companies and was “clean as a virgin.” At one point, Khraibut claims, Grigorovici asked him to review a user handbook for the code Grigorovici had been working on, and “every page” of the images was stamped “AdMobius confidential.” Chahal knew that the software was taken, but was not involved, according to the complaint.
- Gravity4 never paid Khraibut and Chahal called him a “pussy” when he complained. Khraibut and Chahal had allegedly verbally agreed on a $US6,000 per month salary, and a compensation package that included rent for an apartment and one per cent equity. Khraibut did not sign any documents, according to the complaint, because there was no HR department when he joined. After “almost 4 months,” Khraibut protested about not being paid, and Chahal allegedly called him a “pussy.” Khraibut was fired shortly after that.
- Chahal created a “toxic and hostile work environment from day one at Gravity4” according to Khraibut’s complaint. By way of example, the complaint states, “In one instance, Chahal researched a young, attractive female sales manager applicant by finding online photographs of her wearing a bikini, and then showing them to other male employees, including Khraibut, seeking their opinion on her breasts. When Khraibut protested via Skype chat that it ‘wasn’t right’ to be checking out a prospective hire’s bikini pictures, Chahal responded, ‘research bro. everything is online. I do this on EVERY CANDIDATE,'” the complaint states. Chahal also allegedly made repeated racist remarks to Khraibut, calling him an “Arab ghetto,” a “habibi ghetto” and a terrorist.
The full complaint was posted by Forbes here. Emails to Chahal, Gravity4, and attorneys for both parties were not returned.
In 2013, Chahal faced 45 felony counts after prosecutors said he beat his girlfriend more than 100 times in one night in August 2013. Chahal pleaded guilty in April 2014 to two misdemeanour charges and is serving three years of probation.
In November, Chahal will face a hearing on a motion to revoke his probation because of a second alleged domestic violence incident in September 2014.
This isn’t the only lawsuit Gravity4 and Chahal are facing.
Erika Alonso, a former senior vice president of global marketing, filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against Chahal and Gravity4 in April 2015. She says she was harassed because of her age and gender and was secretly and illegally spied on during her job interview.
Chahal and his attorneys were trying to compel arbitration in that case, but a judge denied the order. Chahal has appealed the order.
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