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TikTok executive in Europe accused of bullying women

Executives at TikTok, which runs the app’s operations in Central Europe, controlled a toxic work environment in which female subordinates were bullied, “mansplained” and sexually harassed, according to multiple complaints. It is reported that he was placed on leave due to suspicions that he was

According to one of the explosive indictments obtained, Tobias Henning, the head of TikTok’s operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, said that one of his pregnant staff members was afraid the stress would harm her unborn child. He is said to have been such a tyrant that he avoided meeting with him. By Post.

After a tense one-on-one meeting, one female employee wrote about her boss in a text message to a colleague:

Tobias Henning, head of TikTok’s operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has been accused of operating a toxic work environment. linkedin

On Monday, staff at TikTok’s office in Germany were informed that Henning had been placed on leave while TikTok investigated the complaint. According to Fast Company.

According to a complaint reviewed by the newspaper, several women at TikTok’s offices in Berlin said Henning displayed “unpredictable” mood swings characterized by “sudden and dramatic changes in demeanor.” He claimed that he was in tears.

In a formal whistleblower letter obtained by the newspaper, one of the staffers who worked for Henning until he left the company in July 2022 said that Henning was accused of “misogynistic behavior, sexual harassment, He said he had been subjected to “particularly derogatory comments, lack of respect, and mansplaining.”

When she reported these incidents to human resources, the complaint alleges, HR personnel “ignored her concerns and attempted to silence her,” and “she received no assistance.” has been done.

Another woman, who is still employed by TikTok Germany, claims that she experienced a “neurasthenic attack” and was subjected to “severe psychological distress” after meeting with Henning on June 8, 2023. During that time, executives “exerted significant pressure” on her and “repeatedly”[ed] She had not carried out her duties properly. ”

The anonymous employee, who was pregnant at the time, told co-workers that the encounter made her feel “uncomfortable.”[t] According to the complaint, she was there to attend another meeting with Tobias because she feared it could endanger her unborn child.

The complaint includes a screenshot of a text message the pregnant woman sent to a co-worker, in which she appears to write: ”

In her complaint, she said Henning violated German labor law protecting pregnant employees by failing to “arrange the workplace in a manner that adequately protects himself and his children from health risks.” insisted.

Henning also had the following fetishes:[not] “Reluctant to humiliate and undermine his direct reports,” “refused to travel or attend industry events without business reasons,” and made comments about subordinates’ performance in front of others. is also included in the complaint.

The newspaper asked the female worker and the person who submitted the internal complaint for comment.

Women who work at TikTok’s corporate office in Berlin filed a formal complaint against Henning. Reuters

Henning did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

A TikTok spokesperson told the Post before Henning was suspended that the company “has strong policies against discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and employees are welcome to report concerns anonymously if they choose.” “That is encouraged,” he said.

“Every incident will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken depending on its conclusion,” a company representative told the Post.

TikTok has not commented on Henning since putting him on leave.

Although some complaints were undated, This was reported by the German daily Der Spiegel (paywall).submitted to TikTok Germany’s “Works Council”, an internal organization made up of company employees elected by employees in accordance with European labor regulations.

German works councils are tasked with representing the interests of employees before management, but they differ from trade unions in that membership in organized labor is not a requirement for election.

In Germany, collective bargaining agreements are concluded between companies and national trade unions, but individual company works councils can negotiate with management and tailor agreements to suit local preferences.

Other complaints investigated by Fast Company detail alleged conduct that was described as “misogynistic, reckless, and disrespectful.”

“Tobias Henning is a bully and leadership has known that for years,” a current TikTok employee told Fast Company.

Former TikTok executive Katie Riccio Pulis sued the company earlier this year. craig barritt

In February, a former New York-based TikTok marketing executive claimed he was fired from the company for failing to demonstrate the “obedience and meekness that is specifically required of female employees.”

Katie Riccio Pulis, from Long Island, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, alleging that male co-workers were not treated similarly and that the company failed to properly handle allegations of sexual harassment. filed a lawsuit.

In 2022, a former senior employee at TikTok claimed that managers made subordinates work 12-hour days, six days a week.

In some cases, TikTok’s bosses would force employees to participate in virtual meetings on weekends or after hours, said former employee Pavel Martinez.

Released in 2016, TikTok quickly became one of the most popular social media apps in the country, especially among young users.

But the app’s future in the U.S. appears uncertain after President Biden signed a bill requiring ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations or face a ban.

TikTok has denied claims by lawmakers from both major political parties that its China-based parent company could be forced to provide American user data to the Chinese Communist Party-run government in Beijing.

TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration seeking to overturn the ban.

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