The former director of digital and social media for UploadVR is suing the startup for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and gender discrimination. The lawsuit claims that UploadVR and co-founders, Taylor Freeman and Will Mason, willfully created a “boy’s club” in the workplace that was focused on degrading women and sex with the degradation of women focused on other employees who happened to be female.
The lawsuit was filed on May 15th in the Superior Court of California. The suit described UploadVR as a breeding ground for out of control sexual behavior, inappropriate sexual focus, and an overall unbearable workplace environment for the plaintiff and other female employees.
Some of the claims made by the plaintiff regarding the inappropriate workplace environment include:
· Mason and Freeman hosting office parties where the co-founders discussed the amount of sex they would have at the party, how many girls they would have sex with, etc.
· A room set aside at the UploadVR offices with a bed set aside specifically for sex during parties, and/or strippers or prostitutes invited by employees to attend the parties.
· Male employees receiving higher pay rates than females in equivalent positions.
· Female employees not being reimbursed for business expenses.
The defendant, UploadVR, is based in San Francisco, California. The company creates and offers training courses for developers of virtual reality software and hardware. Freeman is currently serving as the company’s president. He and Mason both issued a statement that dismissed the claims made in the lawsuit. While declining to comment directly as it is pending litigation, they did express that they felt their employees were their greatest asset and the sole reason they were in the business. They claim to be committed to creating a positive company culture and state that they will continue to further develop that mission in the future. They stated that they felt confident that the truth regarding how they treat their employees and how they operate their business would be made clear during the course of the case. They feel the allegations will be found without merit.
If you need to discuss discrimination in the workplace or if you feel that you were wrongfully terminated, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik as soon as possible.