SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A virtual reality startup with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles is being sued by a former executive for sexual harassment, sex and gender discrimination and wrongful termination.
The suit alleges the UploadVR’s San Francisco office was a hostile environment for female employees, and the co-founders goal was to create a kind of “boy’s club” at the office. According to the complaint, “The atmosphere … was marked by rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees.”
The executive claims there was a room set aside equipped with a bed, designated the “kink room” where condoms and underwear were sometimes left behind by employees having sex on the job.
“In the office, Defendants would frequently talk about how much sex they were going to have at each party, and how many girls they were going to have sex with. UploadVR even set up a room to encourage sexual intercourse at the workplace. The room was referred to as the “kink room” and contained a bed. Male employees used that room to have sexual intercourse, which was disruptive and inappropriate. Often, underwear and condom wrappers would be found in the room.”
UploadVR’s co-founders Will Mason and Taylor Freeman, recently included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, were named as defendants in the suit along with 25 unnamed male employees. The suit said the employees, including Mason and Freeman, would discuss sex and their own sexual exploits in the office on a daily basis.
“Male employees, including Mason and Freeman, would even speak sexually about women that worked in the office, right in front of them. For example, male employees stated how they were sexually aroused by female employees and how it was hard to concentrate and be productive when all they could think about was having sex with them.”
Other allegations in the lawsuit include claims that women were discriminated against in the office, given menial tasks and paid less than male employees despite sharing the same roles and responsibilities.
UploadVR said the allegations are without merit.