TRON founder sued for $15m
Two former employees allege workplace hostility
The CEO and founder of the TRON (TRX) cryptocurrency has been sued by two former employees on the grounds of workplace hostility.
In a court document filed in California, Lukasz Juraszek and Richard Hall describe in detail escalating tensions with their employer and a deteriorating workplace environment.
The alleged harassment and antagonism ended with the two being made redundant from BitTorrent, a file-sharing service acquired by the TRON foundation in 2018 for $120m (£92m, €109m).
Justin Sun, the 29-year-old TRON founder, is a prominent name in the crypto community with a Twitter following of over two million. Cong Li, TRON’s head of engineering, is also named in the suit.
The document states that on one occasion Sun slapped Li and physically hit another employee whom he often berated verbally.
The two also allege that Sun pressured Hall into fast-tracking BitTorrent’s software releases and threatened to fire him if he took his pre-approved holiday.
“Lukasz Juraszek saw two sets of shoes under the conference room door, and then heard a loud commotion coming from the room and then what seemed like a punch, slap, or a strike of a hand.” When the door to the room was opened Juraszek saw the manager whose “face was red, his eyes glossy”.
Both former employees describe the working culture of the company changing with the recruitment of more employees from mainland China. This enabled Sun to implement the 9-9-6 work culture popular in China, where employees work from 9am to 9pm for six days a week.
While this may go against certain American employment standards, there are allegations that the new Chinese hires were less concerned with American laws. Furthermore, Hall claims that he voiced his concern that third parties could host material that would infringe copyright through the BitTorrent service.
According to the document Cong Li summarily dismissed these concerns, stated that he had discussed these concerns with Justin Sun and that no legal review would be done.
After his holiday, Hall found himself demoted and received a number of threatening emails from Li. They included: “I cannot protect you”, “things will end badly for you” and “If you go tighter with me, I will go tighter with you.”
Hall and Juraszek are suing for $15m in damages and government action against clams of wrongful dismissal, discrimination, hostile working conditions, emotional distress and the violation of labour laws.
A spokesman for both Sun and Li stated: “TRON is not able to speak on the details of pending litigation, but what we can tell you is that our customers, employees and the TRON community are extremely important to us.”
By mid-afternoon trading TRON stands at $0.017107, up 4.14 per cent in the past 24 hours and giving the crypto a market cap of $1.14bn.
FURTHER READING: TRON price prediction
FURTHER READING: TRON founder Justin Sun pledges $1m to Greta Thunberg