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Readings — From the November 2017 issue

Not Safe For Work

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From a complaint filed by Elizabeth Scott against UploadVR in a California Superior Court in May. UploadVR is a virtual reality company based in San Francisco. Scott, who was hired as director of digital and social media in 2016, was fired in March after filing a complaint about sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. William Mason and Taylor Freeman are the founders of the startup.

Defendants Mason and Freeman referred to the company as a “boy’s club.” Male employees discussed sex at the office on a daily basis. Greg Gopman’s sex life was a frequent topic of discussion. Male employees would speak sexually about women that worked in the office in front of them. Male employees stated how they were sexually aroused by female employees and how it was hard to concentrate and be productive when all they could think about was having sex with them. Avi Horowitz would talk about how he “had a boner” and had to go to the bathroom to “rub one out” so he could focus.

UploadVR set up a room to encourage sexual intercourse at the workplace. The room was referred to as the “kink room” and contained a bed. Defendants required female employees to do what they believed were “womanly tasks.” These tasks included cleaning the kitchen, organizing the refrigerator, and tidying up the work space. The female employees were also required to clean up after parties. This included condoms or underwear left behind. Female employees were called in on their days off to clean up following parties to which they had not been invited. Defendants emphasized that the women of the office should be like “mommies” to the men and help them.

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