Tron’s Justin Sun, the flamboyant personality who propelled the blockchain platform popular among online gamblers into the top ten cryptocurrencies, has been accused of workplace harassment in a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit is being brought by two former BitTorrent employees. Their names are Richard Hall and Lukasz Juraszek. BitTorrent was acquired by Sun’s Tron in 2018.
The employees allege several violations of labor law as well as workplace harassment.
According to court documents, the men are seeking damages in the amount of $15 million from Justin Sun, another executive named Cong Li, and Rainberry Inc. generally.
Rainberry is the operating entity behind Tron and associated operations.
At this time, it’s unclear if Tron will pursue an aggressive legal defense, or simply settle the case out of court.
Richard Hall claims that he was discriminated against as a Caucasian in an Asian-dominated workplace. We’re not making this up. Straight from the initial complaint:
Plaintiff Richard Hall […] began to experience racial discrimination as a Caucasian and a hostile work environment.
The complaint doubly alleges that Lukasz Juraszek was also a victim of Justin Sun’s alleged preference for mainland Chinese.
Non-Chinese Need Not Apply
According to the complaint, both employees had a harder time as a result of not being Chinese. The complaint spells it out in plain terms, saying that Justin Sun prefers mainland Chinese and creates a hostile environment for those who aren’t.
As far as we know, these are the only two people suing the company, although if proven, the allegations would warrant a class action suit, with other Caucasian employees tagging on.
Racial discrimination of any kind is penalized by the law, labor and otherwsie. Yet, Hall and his co-plaintiff have decided to seek monetary damages rather than pursue an investigation through the government.
Beyond racial allegations, the plaintiffs believe that their decision to speak out about what they claim were illegal piracy operations at the behest of Rainberry played a part in their mistreatment. At this time, it’s unclear what those piracy moves may have amounted to.
The complaint further alleges that Hall and Juraszek saw Caucasians routinely fired and replaced, “where possible,” with mainland Chinese.
The crux of the case is that the pair were fired in order to “rid the company of whistleblowers.” Neither of the former employees were willing to engage in what they viewed as blatant piracy, and the complaint outlines that they felt it put the company in excess risk since the US government takes an active interest in Chinese companies pirating intellectual property.
The case is a rare one. Two white men are claiming racial harassment in open court. It’s a risky move, but it may play out, given the apparent pattern described in court documents.
If this case succeeded, it might open the door to more such cases, or a class action on behalf of Caucasians who worked for Sun, who may have been very obviously discriminated against.
BitTorrent’s BTT tokens were trading for $0.000355 USD at time of writing.