Getting sued over a Glassdoor review.

Could a bad Glassdoor review cost million of dollars?

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Hello friends 👋,

Before we dive into today's topic, it's worth reminding ourselves that everything has two sides, as does this story. I don't know precisely the in’s and out’s here; I can only make assumptions based on the available information. My HR-gut tells me there's more to it than we see, which is usually the case. With that little disclaimer out of the way, let's get going.

Getting sued over a Glassdoor review

If Glassdoor and I were to have a relationship on Facebook, it would be one of the rare "It's complicated" ones. (Side note, who uses that on Facebook? Anyone at all?)

From time to time, I find incredible value in Glassdoor; Looking up a ball-park for salaries in markets where my current benchmark is insufficient, checking out information about companies, and such. On the other hand, having monitored and answering incoming feedback on Glassdoor, I also know that the negative reviews are disproportionate on the platform. People who are made to leave the company for whatever reason more often than not end up writing a review on Glassdoor. And this is not something I made up myself; marketing agency Fractl did a study that pointed out that disgruntled employees are more likely to give a review.

Data also tells us that;

  • 84% of job seekers look at reviews.

  • ⅓ turned down jobs over negative reviews.

  • Only 8.2% think in hindsight that they wrote a too negative review.

Simply put, if you are US-based, Glassdoor matters.

More than once, I have been tempted to write out an honest answer to some of the disgruntled reviews. "Bob, if you hadn't been stealing stuff AND making out with your co-worker on stage during the Holiday part, you would still be employed."

But that's not how you do it. At least, that's not how you did it. Perhaps that is about to change.

A couple of weeks ago, the company LoanStreet dropped a lawsuit against a former employee who LoanStreet claims have violated their signed NDIAA. And as said initially, even though I've read through both sides’ claims, it's hard to know what's what. Here's the filing, and here's the GoFundMe where the employee is raising cash to combat the lawsuit.

What's interesting here is the approach LoanStreet takes - fighting back in open court. What we (we as in the employer side) usually do when someone gives us a bad review is to either let it pass or, if it's severe enough, to provide a general thought on why the review is a bad one and state all the good things we do to combat the things said in the review.

Not this time. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but I think this re-inforces a micro-trend around this kind of battle being battled more in the open and publicly. The stakes are high, monetary-wise for Wyatt Troia and reputation-wise for LoanStreet.

Should LoanStreet not win the lawsuit, well, then they might encounter some problems recruiting people. And should LoanStreet win this, we can be quite confident that others will follow suit. That could mean people are less inclined to give bad reviews on Glassdoor and, in general, be more cautious about how they talk about their previous employers.

Given what I mentioned above, my initial thought was around being the one answering to all those comments, knowing Bob's backstory and all that this might be a good thing. People are more cautious and honest, which is good. But then again, if there are two sides of the story - shouldn't we let both those sides shine and then let people use their judgment?

I'm torn. What's your take on all this?

Let me know in the comments!