Female Yahoo Exec Fires Back at Harassment Suit

She says female accuser was trying to save job, shares

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2014 1:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – The female Yahoo executive accused of coercing a female subordinate into sex has fired back with a lawsuit of her own, accusing former employee Nan Shi of making the whole story up for money. In the countersuit, Maria Zhang says she never had sex with Shi, whom she says concocted the story "to save her job and avoid losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unvested Yahoo stock," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Zhang is suing for defamation and seeking damages for emotional distress.

According to Zhang's version of events, Shi—who joined Yahoo with Zhang when it bought the mobile start-up Zhang founded—started to complain to human resources earlier this year and only made the sexual harassment claim after her request for a transfer was denied. Zhang's suit says Yahoo looked into the complaint and failed to find any emails, text messages, or witnesses who corroborate the relationship, the Silicon Valley Business Journal finds. Shi was fired earlier this month, and Zhang says she was kept on at Yahoo longer than expected so the company could complete its investigation.

Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.
Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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