Elizabeth Scott, a female former employee at the Silicon Valley start-up UploadVR, is suing the company claiming that she was forced to deal with a hostile work environment and gender discrimination during her time with the company.
Scott claims in court papers that UploadVR created a ‘boy’s club’ environment where there was a designated ‘kink room’ where male employees had ‘sexual intercourse’ at work, leaving behind ‘underwear’ and ‘condom wrappers.’
She is also alleging that male employees would ‘micro-dose’ on drugs throughout the day.
Scott filed her complaint on May 8 in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. The complaint describes UploadVR as plagued by “rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees.”
via The Verge:
“Defendants purposefully and expressly created a ‘boy’s club’ environment at work, focused on sex and degrading women, including female employees,” the suit goes on to say. The crux of the complaint appears to be the parties UploadVR has hosted at its office in which Mason and Freeman “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.” UploadVR also allegedly has a “kink room” with a bed in its office designed solely for this purpose.
The suit also describes a number of other troubling behaviors at the company that created a hostile and toxic working environment. Those allegedly include parties in which employees invited strippers and prostitutes, and situations in which male employees kicked female employees out of rooms so they could use the spaces for sexual intercourse with party attendees. The suit also alleges widespread discrimination that resulted in male employees being compensated more than female employees, and female employees not being reimbursed for business expenses.
Despite its name, UploadVR does not produce virtual reality games, nor does it work on VR hardware. Instead, UploadVR operates a co-working space in San Francisco and runs training courses for prospective developers.
Furthermore, they also run a news website dedicated to the industry and hosts VR-related events and parties in partnership with other tech companies.
UploadVR co-founders Will Mason and Taylor Freeman released a statement on the lawsuit:
“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,” the two said in a statement. “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.”