The RealReal Inc. was hit with a gender and age discrimination lawsuit by a manager claiming that she was edged out of a promotion by a less qualified male colleague, subjected to a discriminatory commission cut and then stonewalled by h.r. when she complained.
Leah Goldblatt, who still works at the luxury reselling company, has held a series of roles since she joined the company in 2013, including her current position as director of business development for its fine jewelry section.
In a lawsuit that was moved to New York federal court on Friday, Goldblatt claimed that she was passed over for a promotion to director of the vendor business team despite having years of experience, including more than five years at the company. That position was filled in November 2018, when Goldblatt was 51, by a man in his 30s who had worked at the company for about six months at that point, she claimed.
“Ms. Goldblatt was far more qualified and had far more experience…but was not considered for the position due to her age and gender,” her suit claimed.
Goldblatt had first filed her suit in New York state court last month.
She also alleged that her commission percentage had been cut because her position “allegedly did not merit the compensation that she had been receiving.” But Goldblatt said she received the cut despite her “stellar performance,” and argued that it amounted to age and gender discrimination.
Goldblatt also claimed she and a handful of other female employees at the company had complained to the company’s human resources department about such alleged workplace discrimination issues, but that it didn’t lead to any steps to address their concerns. Goldblatt is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
“We are an equal opportunity employer,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “The RealReal is proud to have a long-standing commitment to diversity: 68 percent of our employees are female and 67 percent are minorities. One-third of our executives are minorities, 67 percent of our management roles are held by women, and 84 percent of our sales leadership are women.
“As with any lawsuit, we review the merits of the case and will settle it if warranted,” the statement continued. “Clearly, we had this opportunity with Ms. Goldblatt, but we won’t allow unfounded threats to guide our actions. The facts will support The RealReal.”
The firm had previously also denied the allegations in court filings. An attorney for Goldblatt could not be reached for comment.
The RealReal, founded in 2011 by its chief executive officer Julie Wainwright, seized on the larger moment of sustainability-related ventures when it went public this summer, counting on a growing resale market and the glut of luxury items lying dormant in the closets of wealthy consumers.
The overall secondhand market is set to expand to $51 billion by 2023, according to online reseller ThredUp’s 2019 report.