The tech giant that made a blockbuster acquisition of a leading news site for $1 billion has sued three women accusing the company of discriminating against them by failing to hire them.
The women filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in California alleging that a $10-million settlement with the news site BuzzFeed News violated their First Amendment rights, which they allege violate the federal Equal Pay Act.
BuzzFeed News is owned by Univision, which is owned and operated by Time Warner.
BuzzFeed said in a statement that the lawsuit “is not based on any facts and is not the basis for BuzzFeed’s response.”
BuzzFeed has not commented on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes amid an investigation by BuzzFeed that uncovered widespread gender bias at BuzzFeed and other publications in the news industry, BuzzFeed said.
BuzzFeed also has filed lawsuits against a large number of news organizations in a separate case that is also pending in California.
The company was purchased by Univisions parent company Time Warner for $3.2 billion in March 2017.
BuzzFeed was founded in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles.
BuzzFeed has been ranked as one of the top 100 most influential news sites in the United States, according to Alexa data.
The BuzzFeed lawsuit accuses BuzzFeed News and Univision of “trying to get women to leave the company for other jobs at a lower pay than they are making at BuzzFeed.”
BuzzFeed also says that the companies failed to hire enough women at the two companies, and that BuzzFeed has lost more than $1.6 million since 2014 because of the gender bias in the hiring process.
BuzzFeed said in its statement that it has “strong principles of equality and inclusion, including on gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion.”
It said it would be defending the lawsuit vigorously.
Buzzfeed has faced criticism from some quarters for hiring women, particularly at the company.
But the lawsuit alleges that the hiring of women at BuzzFeed was discriminatory, and BuzzFeed was not the only company to be accused of discriminating.
Univision’s acquisition of BuzzFeed News has come under scrutiny as well.
The case against BuzzFeed is the latest in a string of legal actions against tech companies.
Last week, a judge threw out a lawsuit by the online music streaming service Spotify against the company, saying that the company did not have enough diversity in its hiring practices.