Lawsuit describes VR startup’s office ‘kink room,’ parties ‘rife with sexual impropriety’

Prostitutes at a work party. An office “kink room.” Internal emails discussing an executive’s STD test results.

Those were the conditions at San Francisco-based virtual reality startup UploadVR, according to a lawsuit filed against the company by a former employee.

Elizabeth Scott, who worked for UploadVR as director of digital and social media until March, says her former employers created a sexually charged boy’s club culture, excluded her and other women from meetings and important emails and forced them to perform menial tasks like cleaning the office refrigerator. She’s suing for claims including discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

“The atmosphere and work environment at UploadVR was marked by rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees,” according to the complaint, filed earlier this month in San Francisco County Superior Court. “Defendants purposefully and expressly created a ‘boy’s club’ environment at work, focused on sex and degrading women, including female employees.”

TechCrunch reported the lawsuit Monday.

Upload co-founders Will Mason and Taylor Freeman denied the allegations and defended the company’s culture in a written statement.

“What we want to express is that our employees are our greatest asset and the sole reason for the success of this company,” they wrote in a statement emailed to SiliconBeat. “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.”

The company, which has offices in San Francisco and Marina del Rey, offers virtual reality-focused training, coworking space, events and news.

The lawsuit claims employees, including co-founder and president Mason, discussed sex at the office in front of their female co-workers on a daily basis — including talking about their sexual exploits in graphic detail. The complaint describes male employees commenting on women’s bodies, and talking about masturbation and arousal while at the office. Efforts to secure “submissive Asian women” for a business trip and an UploadVR executive’s STD status were topics of office emails, according to Scott.

Freeman told Scott that she couldn’t be used for marketing purposes because she was “too big,” according to the complaint.

Sexual conduct at work events was common and even encouraged, Scott claims. UploadVR employees even set up a “kink room” in the office, according to the complaint.

“Male employees used that room to have sexual intercourse, which was disruptive and inappropriate,” Scott’s lawyers wrote. “Often, underwear and condom wrappers would be found in the room.”

During a conference in Los Angeles, which Scott was required to attend, she says UploadVR employees invited prostitutes and strippers to a party at a house the company rented in the area. At another conference in San Jose, UploadVR employees hosted a party that was “rife with sexual impropriety,” according to the complaint.

Scott also claims she and her female co-workers were treated differently from the men in the office. She says she was isolated at work, excluded from work lunches and meetings and left off important emails.

“This isolation and exclusion meant that plaintiff did not know what was going on in the office and missed out on opportunities,” the complaint states.

Instead, Scott says she and the other women were required to clean the kitchen, organize the refrigerator and clean up after parties.

Scott says she was fired after complaining about the harassment she endured at work. Her last day was March 15.

Photo: Screenshot of the UploadVR website. (UploadVR)

 
 

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  • Jonney Quest

    Without proof this reads like a Washington Post story. Conjecture, accusations and finger pointing. Reminds me of kindergarten. Sadly we are supposed to be adults. Needs more than one person to corroborate the story.

    • Vigilabo_Vigilum

      If you are going to shill for the company, can’t you at least try to be subtle?

      Proof is subpoenaing the employees who were at these events. While the dumber ones might be willing to perjure themselves, the smart ones will answer the questions truthfully.

      • SPQR_US “The Deplorable”

        Why don’t you STFU…?

      • texlovera

        Your comment assumes they are guilty.

      • Jack_Kennedy

        says the fugly girl ………..

    • Brian

      Agreed. Way to roast some small company without checking any facts.

    • Why don’t you STFU…?

  • Vigilabo_Vigilum

    Is UploadVR a subsidiary of Uber?

    • SPQR_US “The Deplorable”

      Beta Max…

    • Insanity_Rules

      If these accusations are even partly true, they will soon be naming Ms. Scott as the new president and former president Mason will be the newest Uber driver.

  • Zacher

    While it sounds like a shady, crappy job, Im not sure that any of this is lawsuit worthy.

    • Large Basket

      actually, in the state of CA this is grounds for a lawsuit. Anyone in a managerial position with more than 10 direct reports, upper management and department heads all have to attend a mandatory sexual harassment workshop and pass a test. I had to take this class annually at my last job for 10 years in a row.

      • Zacher

        I guess it depends on the specifics of the “sexual harassment”. Does men talking about sex openly constitute sexual harassment? Even a “kink room” where men had sex with call girls isn’t sexual harassment against this woman.

        We arent sure how this woman in particular was “sexually harassed”.

      • SeauxWat

        Oh, you mean the class where all the examples given are men harassing women, without a single example of women harassing men? Yep, I had to sit through that one too. No one liked it when I pointed it out.

  • JRH

    So on one hand, women are liberated, free sexual beings that may express their sexual nature by a number of means (dressing provocatively, going topless in public, etc.) and any attempt by society to stifle their sexuality through puritanical rules and prescribed behavior is sexist.

    On the other hand, women should not have to contend with the sexual nature of men through any means (off-color jokes, commenting on women’s bodies, emails about venereal disease, etc.) and refusing to enforce puritanical rules and prescribed behavior is sexist.

    Don’t you just adore modern society?

    • Uncle Sham

      people will just stop hiring women the way things are going

      • harpotoo

        Especially FOXy News:-)

      • Tony Murphy

        Yes but the “equality” police will come after them then.

    • Can I get an Amen?

      While I agree with your comment to a certain extent, there is a time and place for everything. It’s a freaking office and during work days neither the time nor the place. If true, this behavior is so inappropriate. Unprofessional.

    • Scott says she was fired after complaining about the harassment she endured at work. Her last day was March 15.

  • Govskeptic

    Does this small company have a large competitor that has the ability to promote
    fake news to destroy the little dog, or drive them to near bankruptcy & then move in to purchase!

  • bd1143bc✓ᴷᵃᶠᶠᶦʳ

    Diversity is our greatest strength.

    • TAG

      I got moderated…

    • moderate Guy

      The only diversity that matters is diversity of thought.

  • supershwa

    Change the title of the article to “Feminist Complains Life Not Fair Again”

  • Candy Man

    Bimbos have learned that simply making an accusation can seriously harm a man, and may get them a large payday.

  • TAG

    I spent most of my late teens and early 20’s working in wholesale/retail building materials sales, delivery, distribution and warehousing and we were honestly too busy making sales, collecting revenues, and making profits to be bothered by all that nonsense.

    The era was around 1976-1984… I made more money those years than after graduating Summa Cum Laude from California State University. Working blue-collar trade/labor long hours and not having to put up with corporate shtick like “development opportunities” or “work study programs”

    People have seriously lost their way.

  • skywalkr2

    Sounds like an episode of Mad men.

  • Shocking! San Francisco is usually such an epicenter of morality!

  • Paul

    Another fat Feminists that can’t handle an environment of men acting like men. If women were acting this way, the Media would praise these dirty hoes and encourage the behaviour!

  • Large Basket

    I wonder if they had a VR Program on sexual harassment ind inappropriate office conduct? if this is true this is a slam dunk win and the company will close since no insurance company will cover them. But with shows like sex in the city and girls where women are acting like male horn dogs and it is accepted as great tv this is the new norm. what else would you expect from a millennial business.

    • SeauxWat

      When we had “harassment training” at my office, I loudly pointed out that ALL of the examples in the textbook were males harassing women. Not a single example of women harassing men was included. Everyone looked at me like a had three heads.

      Those of us that started the company were male and capitalists. We were very, very successful. As we hired more and more people, the liberals and millennials were the beginning of the end of our cool office. It quickly became overrun with HR drama queens and parasites. I retired earlier than planned rather than deal with all the millennial children anymore. The company’s profitability has shrunk by 80% since I left, as they’ve prioritized “culture” over profits. Good riddance kids!

  • FrankHunt

    She had to clean the Fridge?
    Ohhhhh the inhumanity…….

  • Caius Keys

    Kink room? Are they hiring?

  • Jack McCauley

    Bullshit.

  • MilesMonroe

    I wonder if she was reading her 50 Shades of Grey first edition in the break room at lunchtime. I also wonder who all these folks supported for their local and national representatives. Probably those champions of womens’ rights like Maxine Waters, D. Fein., Patty Murray and Nancy Pelosi to name a few.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    ‘Freeman told Scott that she couldn’t be used for marketing purposes because she was “too big,”’

    And there it is. She wasn’t excluded because she was a woman. She was excluded because she was a fatty. She is mad that none of that “sexual harassment” came her way.

    • SeauxWat

      Yep, so predictable. Should have drawn straws to decide who takes one for the team and tossed her a mercy boff, and avoided all this.

  • RB

    Was she too big to play with the boys or only played with her own kind?

  • Inconsequential

    Yeah because staying home and raising children who love you and need you for everything is so demeaning.

  • porcer34

    Leave it for the Board of Directors to decide. If they were delivering the expected shareholder value, then they found a more innovative and productive way to conduct business.

  • Jack_Kennedy

    fugly girl whining………………

  • sirlance

    1970’s Atari atmosphere ….nerds gone wild…lol. I though liberalwas for women’s equal rights?… typical liberal hypocrisy

  • Gotta say, lot of scary comments here. Appears the Drudge bots are out in force.

    • Jack_Kennedy

      is that you ………… fugly girl ……

      • Nah, I let you guys take care of that yourselves. Thanks for proving my point in under one minute. You guys are good, predictable, but good.

        • Jordan Welty

          Yup I’ma bot too. Hah OR maybe its the fact that 9 Million ppl a day read drudge and some of them have a voice. If anything YOU DETEX sound like a bot. SMH Try harder nerd

          • haha, it’s amazing. You guys are always on the defensive! It’s insane!

          • Well don’t let our “scary comments” rattle you too much snowflake. If the toxic masculinity is too much for ya, you’re always accepted in a safe space.

          • “toxic masculinity?” You mean when you circle jerk each other yelling talking points from your Drudge articles? Sure. If that is the case, nobody is rattled. There is nothing to see here. Really, nothing.

          • ChuckNoland

            LOL, Drudge doesn’t have articles, and thus talking points. It’s just a link.

          • Curated links are talking points, no? Try and keep up.

          • Miles to Code

            No, they’re curated links, nothing more.

          • ChuckNoland

            I understand you can’t think without talking points, but no, they are not.

          • Please tell me to which “scary comments” you were referring to. Look sweetheart, I really wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.

          • Yup, same constitutional rights as everyone else no matter how bad the right wants to erase them.

          • So is that what’s scaring you? You have to be honest with me because your ability to believe you are a unique and special snowflake is society’s chief concern.

          • Nothing really, it is just fun to troll you guys, so predictable. Who’s the snowflake now Mr Sensitive?

        • Tony Murphy

          Right, you’ve done your virtue-signalling.. Now go back to being a cuck excuse for man.

    • Escondido73

      Thanks for checking in.

      • Hay, no problem. Slow day, I like to put one out there and see how many of you guys get your panties in a bunch. So far, not too shabby.

  • The Deplorable Neal Jensen

    What kind of business doesn’t create a real working environment LAB to test their product in?

  • Jack_Kennedy

    alpha.males.not.allowed. ……………… only girlyboys to be on board

  • Peter Boyle

    Sounds to me like they are in need of a director of digital and social media…. I’m sending my resume in NOW!!!!

  • Steph

    This is why women don’t belong in the workplace.

    • SeauxWat

      Exactly what I was thinking while reading this.
      Also, if she didn’t like it, all she had to do was leave. But no…she has to ruin everything for others.

  • The Deplorable Neal Jensen

    You know who the next dream job will be?

    the Beta testers ( not BETA males, beta testers) for the product to be the bridge from the prototypes to market…wink wink…

  • The Deplorable Neal Jensen

    You know who the next dream job will be?

    the Beta testers ( not BETA males, beta testers) for the product to be the bridge from the prototypes to market…wink wink…Only in the p 0 rn industry do you get paid to w4nk off..who knew that techno g33ks would take their greatest desires to this level of success?

  • Jack

    Plaintiff is a real buzzkill.

  • Trajan Augustus

    There is always some Hole around trying to put a damper on things. This is why you weren’t wanted in the workplace. You ruin everything.

  • Trajan Augustus

    There is always some Hole around trying to put a damper on things. This is why you weren’t wanted in the workplace. You ruin everything.

  • Escondido73

    sure seems like a lot here say….. Maybe to company knew this is what you would do, and your were put to working doing something else….

  • Theospeak1

    Is anyone surprised? Sex is like a river. The boundaries set by God are one man and one woman inside holy matrimony. Like a river, within those bounds it can bring life, be a wonderful retreat, generate power, and bring peace. And like a river, outside of those bounds it can destroy homes, destroy growth, make everything dirty, become shallower and shallower, and eventually dry up altogether.

    • proguy

      Wow, that was eloquent.

    • Tony Murphy

      Excellent.

  • Joseph Powell

    Woman are always complaining at work.
    The more of them you have the worse it becomes.
    I hated managing women, you have walk around on eggshells ALL THE TIME.
    *Pro tip* Never date anyone you work with.

  • Honest John

    The “unspeakable” BUT OBVIOUS truth is that females have the “get out of jail free” card whn it comes to “sex in the workplace”. They have ALL the “ace cards” to get what they want via “sex” and the men are cowed by the reality that THEY will be seen as the villians in any “court case”.

    Hey, I do NOT in any way condone the alll too frequent “male on female physical abuse”, BUT, let’s “get real” here… A woman can “succeed” in life by little more than spreading her legs – WHY is THAT considered a “taboo” consideration when it is SO OBVIOUS!?

    • Tony Murphy

      That’s right. If you’re useless at your job you can always yell ‘discrimination’ if you’re a woman or victim-designated minority. This environment must be playing hell with American business efficiency.

  • Chip Goodman

    What do the investors believe? They OWN everybody in this discussion – male and female – and will ultimately decide who gets indicted and who does not. Did not hear anything about evidence which is odd in 2017 – everything can be captured via electronic media. If there is the virtual equivalent of the “stained blue dress”, she wins.

  • Tony Murphy

    I held senior positions in tech but if I were active today I’d do my level best to keep women and other minorities out of my company. They represent lawsuits just waiting to happen.

  • Tony Murphy

    Not only that but if she has post-partum regrets she discovers that in fact she was raped. And the courts will always believe her.

  • Timea

    In general, women are terrible at tech jobs

 
 
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