The lawsuits seem to be never-ending when it comes to Silicon Valley tech startups and their mistreatment of female employees. Recently, virtual reality and co-working startup UploadVR was sued for sexual harassment, sex and gender discrimination, and wrongful termination by a former female employee. And the allegations against the tech company are disturbing.
UploadVR Lawsuit Alleges Hostile, Sexually-Charged Working Conditions
The employment suit filed on May 8, 2017 in California by UploadVR’s former director of digital and social media, alleges that company co-founders Taylor Freeman and Will Mason created a “boy’s club” environment, and that UploadVR’s office in San Francisco was hostile for female workers. The lawsuit accuses the tech company of a number of troubling workplace behaviors claiming that the work environment was “marked by rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees.” The lawsuit goes on to claim that the company created an “unbearable environment” for female workers by focusing on “sex and degrading women, including female employees.”
According to the suit, UploadVR’s co-founders would discuss “how many girls they were going to have sex with” during the company’s parties. The plaintiff claims there was even a room in the office with a bed that was nicknamed the “kink room” where workers would have sex. According to the suit, male employees used the room “to have sexual intercourse, which was disruptive and inappropriate” and female employees would find “underwear and condom wrappers” in the room.
UploadVR Co-Founders Allegedly Spoke Sexually About Female Coworkers
Among the numerous sexually-charged encounters in the lawsuit, the co-founders themselves are accused of speaking sexually about female coworkers “right in front of them” and allegedly made it known that “they were sexually aroused by female employees and how hard it was to concentrate and be productive when all they could think about was having sex with them.”
Plaintiff Claims All Women Faced Gender Discrimination at UploadVR
In addition to the “sexually-focused” work environment, the lawsuit alleges that female employees were forced to work on menial tasks like cleaning the office because it was “a womanly task.” Female workers at UploadVR were also allegedly paid less than their male counterparts despite sharing similar roles and responsibilities.
The plaintiff, who claims she also faced wrongful termination for complaining about the hostile environment, is suing the tech company for damages of an unspecified amount. She says that the repulsive treatment of female employees was companywide.
UploadVR co-founders have claimed that the plaintiff’s allegations are “without merit.”
Contact a Los Angeles Sex and Gender Discrimination Attorney
If you are working in California and being subjected to sex and gender discrimination, or sexual harassment, contact our passionate Los Angeles workplace discrimination attorneys right away for a free consultation. No woman or man should have to suffer from unsafe, hostile working conditions that violate California law.