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UploadVR sued over sexual harassment allegations

Former social media director claims "unbearable" atmosphere for female employees, accuses rising VR company of wrongful dismissal

UploadVR has been accused of being a "boy's club" in which female employees were harassed and discriminated against. The allegations were made in a lawsuit filed by the company's former director of social media, who has also claimed her employment has wrongfully terminated.

The legal documents, which were obtained by Techcrunch, paint a distressing picture of UploadVR, a prominent venture-funded company in the VR space that runs events, co-working spaces and a popular website from its offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The suit names the company and its co-founders, Will Mason and Taylor Freeman, who are president and CEO respectively, and accuses them of fostering an "atmosphere and work environment...marked by rampant sexual behavior and focus, creating an unbearable environment for Plaintiff and other female employees.

"Defendants purposefully and expressly created a 'boy's club environment at work, focused on sex and degrading women, including female employees."

Among the allegations are the co-founders' boasts of "how many girls they were going to have sex with" during parties at the company's offices and around industry events. At one party during a conference in LA, the suit alleged, male employees brought along prostitutes and strippers.

One room in the office, containing a bed, was specifically designated the "kink room," and set aside for employees to have sex. "Male employees used that room to have sexual intercourse, which was disruptive and inappropriate. Often, underwear and condom wrappers would be found in the room."

There were instances in which male employees of the company, including the co-founders, would "speak sexually about women that worked in the office, right in front of them." The suit also claims that female employees were treated unfairly in terms of professional responsibilities and salaries relative to their male counterparts.

UploadVR co-founders have dismissed the allegations as "entirely without merit." Here's the full statement, issued to Techcrunch, where the full legal document can be found.

"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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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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