A Microsoft engineer who launched an online tirade against his former workplace, calling it “a raging dumpster fire,” is now facing a million-dollar lawsuit as a result, according to reports.
The Financial Times and The Ladders have shed light on the case of Wyatt Troia, who is facing legal action from LoanStreet, an online finance platform against which he began a barrage of negative reviews – including claims of “pettiness,” “cowardice”, inexperienced leadership and broken promises - across several sites including GlassDoor and Reddit.
Among the criticisms, which began in 2020 when he was still a LoanStreet worker, Troja claimed: “The founders are not skilled nor experienced leaders, with a bias towards pettiness and cowardice.
The Ladders reported that, in June 2021, Troia posted again on Glassdoor, this time naming several executives at the company and describing them as “spineless sycophants.”
“Stay far, far away unless you’re truly desperate,” the post read, adding: “LoanStreet is a raging dumpster fire and you will get burned like many before.”
He added: “After hiring employees with a promise of unlimited PTO, management rolled out a PTO tracking tool that explicitly capped PTO at 15 days per year.”
In a Reddit post, Troja maintained that he was “abruptly fired” after he found mistakes in another engineer’s code. He also claimed he was “cheated out of” stock options promised to him during the hiring process were withheld, resulting in him missing out on circa $100,000 (£71,000).
After 15 months of praising my work, they abruptly fired me just as COVID froze tech hiring, refused to vest any of the promised equity, and the head of HR (who is also the wife of the CEO and who had spoken to me warmly just the night before) refused to answer my phone calls asking for an explanation,” he wrote on Reddit.
Company launches legal action
Troja is now allegedly being sued by LoanStreet as a result of his cross-platform tirades. In a Go Fund Me page, set up by Troja himself to support his legal fees, he claimed the firm was suing him for in excess of $3million (£2.15million) in Federal Court.
“They are throwing the kitchen sink at me, accusing me of breach of contract, defamation, injurious falsehood, unfair competition, and false designation of origin,” Troja wrote.
“All the accusations are either false or are attempts to enforce contract provisions that are illegal under federal labor law.”
Business Insider reported that the defamation lawsuit against Troja, called his online claims false and “malicious.”
The company also said that Troia purchased Google ads to target LoanStreet viewers with negative reviews of the firm.
LoanStreet’s lawsuit alleges Troia was fired for “the poor quality of his engineering, his lack of engagement with this team, and his inability to cooperate with his peers or take direction from his superiors,” as reported by The Ladders.
Power of Glassdoor reviews
Looking for a new job can be a difficult process and one that candidates want to get right which is why many may turn to review sites like Glassdoor to find out from other staff what it’s actually like to work for an employer.
This could be to do with the company’s culture, perks and benefits, or how employers have handled or treated staff amid the coronavirus crisis.
In a previous interview with HR Grapevine, Jo Creswell, who is now the former Community Expert at Glassdoor, said that particularly throughout the pandemic, staff won’t be afraid to vocalise how bosses are handling the crisis – whether this is positively or poorly.
She said that this includes “highlighting where their employer has shone and occasions where they don’t believe their employer has responded adequately”.