Harassment of the sexual nature is not permitted in the workplace, and victims have legal protections to be aware of. It is often a difficult predicament to be involved in, sometimes causing employees to fail to timely report these acts. Nonetheless, employees have rights and the ability to assert them to ensure a safe work environment and protected civil rights.
Based on recent reports, a California virtual reality media company is facing a lawsuit for sexual harassment, sex and gender discrimination and wrongful termination. The lawsuit was brought by the company's former Director of Digital and Social Media. The virtual reality start-up company has offices in Los Angeles and Northern California. It provides co-working spaces, training course and media publication. The company has received several sources of funding.
The lawsuit asserts that the CEO and the president for the company created a boys' club environment and that their Northern California office was a hostile work environment for female employees. Rampant sexual conduct and sexual behavior degrading to women is alleged in the lawsuit. The lawsuit also asserts that the office has a room with a bed in it for employees to have sex in and that the co-founders of the company would discuss how many women they planned to have sex with at company parties. In addition, the lawsuit asserts that while at a home rented in Los Angeles for employees of the company to stay at during a conference, strippers and prostitutes were hired.
The lawsuit asserts a number of instances of sexual harassment, including the CEO and president openly discussing women in the office sexually and noting that they would like to have sex with them. Male employees of the company were encouraged to have sex in the workplace. The lawsuit also asserts women were discriminated against, as they were given menial duties, not paid as much as their male counterparts and were not adequately reimbursed for business expenses they incurred. The woman who brought the lawsuit also asserts in the legal action that she was wrongfully terminated.
There are two primary types of sexual harassment that are legally recognized and include the creation of a hostile work environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment, both of which are not permitted in the workplace. Victims of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination should always be familiar with their rights and how to enforce them in the workplace.
Source: Techcrunch.com, "UploadVR sued over 'rampant' sexual behavior in the workplace and wrongful termination," Lucas Matney, May 15, 2017