Former Employee Sues UploadVR for Wrongful Termination and Sexual Harassment
Defendants in the suit include current CEO Taylor Freeman as well as co-founder Will Mason.
UploadVR's former director of digital and social media is suing at the VR startup for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and gender discrimination (via Tech Crunch). The suit alleges that defendants in the suit, which includes co-founders Taylor Freeman and Will Mason, "purposefully and expressly created a ‘boy’s club’ environment at work, focused on sex and degrading women, including female employees."
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California on May 15, goes on to paint UploadVR as a breeding ground for "rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees."
In particular, the plaintiff alleges that Mason and Freeman would host office parties where the co-founders “would frequently talk about much sex they were going to have at each party and how many girls they were going to have sex with.” Purportedly, UploadVR's office has a room with a bed set aside explicitly for the purposes of having sex during parties, as well as strippers and prostitutes invited by employees to attend the parties.
The suit levels other complaints beyond sexual harassment, such as male employees receiving higher compensation than their female peers, and female employees not being reimbursed for business expenses. Full details of the lawsuit can be viewed on The Verge.
UploadVR is based in San Francisco. Rather than producing virtual reality software or hardware, the company offers training courses aimed at developers looking to develop in the burgeoning VR space. Freeman currently serves as president; he and Mason issued a statement dismissing the lawsuit's claims.
"We cannot comment directly on any pending litigation. What we want to express is that our employees are our greatest asset and the sole reason for the success of this company. We are committed to creating a positive community in VR/AR as well as within our company culture and will work to further develop that mission in the future. We are confident that the true nature of how we treat our employees and how we operate as leaders will shine through this unfortunate situation and confirm that these allegations are entirely without merit."
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