Silicon Valley Startup Sued for ‘Rampant Sexual Behavior,’ Gender Discrimination

Filing claims UploadVR had a room designated for sex and parties with prostitutes

Parties with prostitutes, weight discrimination and an office room designated for sex are all mentioned in a recent lawsuit against a California Virtual Reality company.

UploadVR, a VR startup with offices in Los Angeles and based in San Francisco, has been accused of creating an environment of “rampant sexual behavior,” by its former Director of Digital and Social Media in a court filing last week.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was the victim of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and gender discrimination, and seeks an unspecified amount in damages. Co-founders Will Mason and Taylor Freeman are named as defendants in the filing; Mason is currently UpLoadVR’s President and Freeman is its CEO.

The filing alleges the defendants created a “boy’s club” at work, “focused on sex and degrading women, including female employees.” Sexual exploits were openly described in “graphic detail,” with the suit claiming Expansion Manager Avi Horowitz would repeatedly comment on how attractive one female employee was and “talk about now he ‘had a boner’ and had to go to the bathroom to ‘rub one out’ so he could focus.”

Horowitz did not reply to TheWrap’s request for comment.

According to the plaintiff, Freeman would comment on how she was “not the ideal size he likes in a woman that he is going to have sexual relations with.” The suit also claims Freeman made it clear to the plaintiff she could not be used for marketing purposes because she was “too big.”

Mason and Freeman said they “cannot comment directly on any pending litigation” in an emailed statement to TheWrap, but said “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,” continued the statement. “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.”

The filing alleges UploadVR had a “kink room” for employees to have sex in, where condom wrappers and underwear were often found on the floor. At one company event in Los Angeles, the suit claims a male coworker “invited prostitutes and strippers” to a house rented by the company. At another event in San Jose, the suit alleges Freeman “came into her room and forced her out of her room so that he could have sexual relations with a woman he brought to the event.”

In addition, the suit claims the plaintiff was “paid less than her male counterparts, while performing substantially similar work duties.” After complaining to a new employee about the harassment and work discrimination, the plaintiff was wrongfully terminated and slandered by the defendants, according to the filing.

You can find the entire filing here.