Christine Martinez is suing two of Pinterest's co-founders, claiming she helped them create the site but was never compensated. She was never an employee of the company and never received stock, but she alleges that the founders had verbally agreed to pay her. According to the lawsuit, she helped the founders in 2008 and came up with the "Pin it" phrase along with the idea of "boards" for images. Pinterest did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"Christine Martinez is simply asking for what she earned in co-creating one of the most popular image sharing and social media platforms," said Hogan Lovells partner Courtney Devon Taylor, Martinez's attorney. "Pinterest and its top executives made billions of dollars, yet they have not paid her a dime. She intends to stand up for herself. Pinterest fans would expect nothing less."
The lawsuit is the latest accusation against Pinterest of having a workplace hostile to women. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks had previously gone public about their concerns about Pinterest's work culture. Last December, the company also settled a lawsuit by its former COO, Francoise Brougher, who had sued the company over gender discrimination.
"We are proud of what we built at Pinterest and appreciate all the Pinners who have helped shape the platform over the years. However, these allegations are completely without merit and we will defend our position in court," said a Pinterest spokesperson.
Read the full complaint here:
Updated: This story was updated to include a statement from Christine Martinez's lawyer and Pinterest's statement.