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Lawsuit alleges Unity CEO sexually harassed former VP

The lawsuit accuses CEO John Riccitiello of sexually propositioning several Unity employees and says Unity retaliated against the plaintiff after she complained; Unity says it will fight back.

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court on June 5th accuses Unity of retaliating against a former employee after she alleged that CEO John Riccitiello sexually propositioned her and other female employees on multiple occasions. 

The lawsuit filed by former Unity recruiting director Anne Evans seeks damages for retaliation, wrongful termination, and a failure to prevent discrimination in the workplace.

The complaint begins by recounting multiple instances in 2017 where Riccitiello allegedly sexually propositioned several female employees and states that Riccitiello and other senior executives would make lewd sexual comments in the workplace on frequent occasions. Evans expressed concern over this behavior in a company survey filed in 2018 and says other employees made similar complaints. 

Evans' suit then states that she reported an alleged unethical access of Unity survey data for a separate survey Unity ran in 2019. Evans says after the investigation of her complaint, Unity terminated her for violating company policy by accepting gifts from another employee who Evans reported for improperly accessing the aforementioned survey results.

The suit argues that "there is no policy, written or otherwise, addressing the giving or accepting of gifts among employees," and concludes by stating that this termination was retaliatory in nature.

In a statement to Gamasutra, Unity said it would fight the allegations:

“Unity intends to vigorously defend against the false allegations asserted by Anne Evans. Following a third-party investigation that surfaced facts that Evans engaged in serious misconduct and established multiple instances in which she demonstrated a gross lapse in judgment, Unity terminated her employment. This was an undesirable outcome for Evans, and we had been working with her on the details of her departure when she filed a public lawsuit that includes false and damaging claims against the company, our CEO and a number of our employees. Before and throughout the investigation, Evans had multiple opportunities to share her concerns about her experiences at the company through confidential and objective mechanisms, yet never did. We take these issues seriously at Unity, just as we did when we learned about concerns involving Evans. We do not tolerate harassment, and we have policies in place to address relationships in the workplace.”

You can view the full lawsuit below. 

Image via Web Summit

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