Vungle founder Zain Jaffer filed a lawsuit today accusing the mobile advertising company of wrongfully terminating him from the role of CEO.
The lawsuit cites a section of the California labor code that it says “expressly and specifically prohibits discrimination and retaliation by employers based upon an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction.”
Jaffer was arrested in October 2017 in an incident involving his young son — the charges included performing a lewd act on a child and assault with a deadly weapon. Last year, the charges were dropped, with the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office saying it did “not believe that there was any sexual conduct by Mr. Jaffer that evening,” while “the injuries were the result of Mr. Jaffer being in a state of unconsciousness caused by prescription medication.”
Afterwards, Jaffer began looking into either selling his Vungle shares or pursuing a leadership change at the company, something he alludes to in his statement on the suit:
Once I was absolved of any wrongdoing, I was looking forward to a friendly relationship with the Company. Instead, Vungle unfairly and unlawfully sought to destroy my career, blocked my efforts to sell my own shares or transfer shares to family members, and tried to prevent me from purchasing shares in the Company.
When reached by TechCrunch, a Vungle spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The suit does not specify the amount that Jaffer is seeking, but his attorney Joann Rezzo reportedly told Bloomberg that he has suffered at least $100 million worth of harm. When asked about damages, Jaffer’s spokesperson sent us the following statement from Rezzo:
The amount to be awarded would be entirely within the discretion of the jury. My firm won almost $20M for an employee who asserted similar claims against Allstate Insurance Company. Mr. Jaffer’s potential recovery is much, much higher.
The suit she’s referring to involved a former Allstate employee who was awarded $18.6 million after he was fired following an arrest for domestic violence and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. All the charges were eventually dismissed.
You can read Jaffer’s full lawsuit below.
Jaffer v. Vungle Conformed … by on Scribd