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1 THE PARTIES AND VENUE

2 1. Zainali “Zain” Jaffer worked for Defendant Vungle, Inc. at the Company’s

3 headquarters and principal place of business in San Francisco County, and he resides in San

4 Francisco County. All the wrongful acts occurred in San Francisco within the venue of this court.

5 BACKGROUND FACTS

6 2. Mr. Jaffer co-founded Vungle in 2011 and then served as its Chief Executive Officer

7 for seven years. Vungle is a mobile ad company that employs over 200 people across eight

8 international offices with its product reaching over a billion consumers each and every month.

9 The Company’s product is the leading in-app video advertising platform for performance

10 marketers. Its technology allows businesses to acquire customers and generate revenue with in-

11 app video ads. Under Mr. Jaffer’s leadership, Vungle grew from zero revenue to substantial

12 annual revenues and profits. Not surprisingly, Mr. Jaffer received nearly constant praise from

13 Vungle’s Board of Directors during his seven-year tenure as CEO.

14 3. Vungle fired Mr. Jaffer without prior discussion or warning on October 17, 2017. The

15 Company issued press releases making clear that his firing was unrelated to job performance and

16 due to a recent arrest and resulting charges. Vungle stated that its board fired Mr. Jaffer within 24

17 hours of learning of his arrest.

18 4. At the time of Mr. Jaffer’s removal, Vungle’s board only knew that police had arrested

19 him for child abuse and assault following an incident in the middle of the night on October 15.

20 One board member eventually resigned, complaining that the Company had dismissed Mr. Jaffer

21 “based on presumption of guilt” and ignoring that “we live in a democracy where [a] key legal

22 right is ‘presumption of innocence’ (as in a defendant is innocent until proven guilty).” Then the

23 District Attorney dismissed all charges and took the unusual step of releasing a statement saying

24 the facts did not support the case and that the incident resulted from Mr. Jaffer “being in a state of

25 unconsciousness caused by prescription medication.”

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2
Complaint
1 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

2 Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy

3 5. Plaintiff incorporates here by reference paragraphs 1 through 4.

4 6. California Labor Code § 432.7 expressly and specifically prohibits discrimination and

5 retaliation by employers based upon an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction or based

6 upon participation in diversion programs. The statute makes it unlawful for any employer to “seek

7 from any source whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment

8 including hiring, promotion, termination or any apprenticeship training program or any other

9 training program leading to employment, any record of arrest or detention that did not result in

10 conviction, or any record regarding a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or post-trial

11 diversion program.”

12 7. The express wording of Labor Code § 432.7 prohibits employers from using

13 information relating to an arrest or detention “in determining any condition of employment

14 including … termination” and even prohibits receipt or possession of those records. This directly

15 applied to and prohibited Vungle’s conduct toward Mr. Jaffer.

16 8. Vungle rashly and wrongfully usurped the roles of judge, jury, and executioner when

17 summarily terminating Mr. Jaffer’s employment. Vungle’s termination violated fundamental state

18 public policies including those embodied in California Labor Code sections 432.7, 96(k), and 98.6

19 as well as in Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution which establishes the inalienable

20 right to privacy.

21 9. As a result of Vungle’s wrongful termination of Mr. Jaffer’s employment in violation

22 of public policy, he suffered economic out-of-pocket losses in significant ways and he will with

23 reasonable certainty suffer further economic losses in the future. His losses continue to rapidly

24 mount, are currently undetermined, but will be subject to proof at the time of trial. His losses

25 include past and future loss of annual salary, bonus, stock, and benefits. Plaintiff requests

26 monetary damages, with interest, to compensate for these economic losses.

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Complaint