Female TikTok workers in Germany have allegedly been subject to misogynistic and disrespectful behaviour from Tobias Henning. cottonbro studio/Pexels

The General Manager of TikTok's operations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland has been temporarily relieved of his responsibilities following allegations of a toxic workplace environment. Tobias Henning is currently under investigation by the social media platform after several female employees accused him of mistreatment.

Earlier this week, workers in TikTok's German offices were informed of Henning's absence from the company and updated on the situation. According to a current TikTok employee, Henning's mistreatment of staff has been a long-standing issue, and senior staff have been aware of it.

Many female employees based in Berlin have reported that Henning's demeanour would often change unexpectedly, causing them to become emotional. Additionally, he would criticize and undermine staff performances in front of their colleagues.

A former female employee who worked under Henning's supervision until two years ago has filed a complaint against him, alleging that he was misogynistic and disrespectful towards her. She also claimed that her former boss sexually harassed her and used derogatory language when communicating.

The complaint revealed that the employee felt powerless when the alleged abuse occurred, as her complaints to the human resources department were not addressed properly. They were unsupportive of her troubles and even attempted to silence her.

A current female TikTok employee in Germany, who was pregnant last summer, has reported that Henning's behaviour during a meeting caused her to worry about her pregnancy. During the meeting, the suspended boss pressured her intensely as he believed she was not performing up to his required standard.

Henning's actions caused her to experience "severe psychological distress" and "a bout of nervous collapse," leading her to tell fellow staff that another meeting with Henning would not be feasible as the health of her unborn child would be at high risk.

The employee's situation led her to express her feelings towards Henning through a text message to another staff member, which read: "I need some rest, this man is f–king unhinged." According to the employee, her boss was not compliant with her country's labour laws, which protect the well-being of pregnant workers and their unborn children.

Henning allegedly failed to create a safe work environment that allowed the woman and her unborn child to be free of health hazards. Discrimination against female TikTok staff has also allegedly occurred outside Central Europe and has even led to dismissals.

Katie Riccio Puris, a former marketing executive for the social platform in its New York offices, was fired last year. According to a discrimination lawsuit she filed earlier this year against TikTok's Chinese developer, ByteDance, female employees were treated as inferior to their male counterparts.

Puris claimed that ByteDance dismissed her because she did not have "the docility and meekness specifically required of female employees." She also alleged in the lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by an executive from an advertising agency at a dinner in France. She believes her firing was a result of this incident, as her protests were not adequately addressed.