FREE CONSULTATIONS:

888.465.5110

NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN

Silicon Valley startup accused of encouraging sexual behavior in workplace

Silicon Valley has been rocked by one sexual harassment lawsuit after another this year, drawing attention to a pervasive problem that exists in far too many workplaces in the technology sector.

In a recent case, a former employee sued UploadVR for sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. The San Francisco-based virtual reality startup settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

Elizabeth Scott, who worked as a digital and social media director at the company, said the workplace was unbearable due to the “rampant sexual behavior” it cultivated. She described the offices as having a sexually charged atmosphere, including a “kink room” in which workers were encouraged to have sex. In addition, a manager allegedly made repeated comments about her body.

In her discrimination claim, Scott said female employees were paid unfairly in comparison to male colleagues and excluded from meetings, work lunches and important emails. They were also required to clean the kitchen and carry out other menial tasks. Scott said she was fired after complaining about the workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

After the lawsuit, UploadVR appeared to be taking steps to improve its workplace culture. The company appointed new senior management, set up a human resources team, created an employee handbook and established a process that allows the safe reporting of workplace issues. However, founders Taylor Freeman and Will Mason did not resign, unlike former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Kalanick was forced to leave Uber amid a number of sexual harassment complaints and other controversies.

Freeman and Mason had earlier released a statement denying Scott’s allegations and saying her sexual harassment lawsuit was “without merit.” They later backtracked and issued an apology for their poor handling of the matter.

Read more

Postmates pays $8.75 million to settle worker misclassification lawsuit

California courts have been dealing with a growing number of worker misclassification cases that have resulted from the expansion of the gig economy. In one such lawsuit, a federal judge recently approved…

READ ARTICLE

Misclassified property workers awarded $2 million in overtime lawsuit

A recent case serves as an important reminder about the protections that California labor laws provide to workers. Employers can be liable if they misclassify their workers and fail to comply with…

READ ARTICLE
Venture capital firm co-founder resigns amid sexual harassment scandal

Venture capital firm co-founder resigns amid sexual harassment scandal

Silicon Valley has recently been hit by a series of complaints about inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Not long ago, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment within…

READ ARTICLE
San Francisco attorney wins $2 million in whistleblower lawsuit against city

San Francisco attorney wins $2 million in whistleblower lawsuit against city

A former deputy city attorney won a wrongful termination and whistleblower lawsuit against the city of San Francisco. The San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded Joanna Hoeper over $2 million for lost…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10