Lawsuit Describes UploadVR Startup’s Office ‘Kink Room,’ Parties ‘Rife with Sexual Impropriety’ Settled

Team Scott, Mason and Gopman with an unidentified female assumed Prosttute.
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.”
She’s out: Scott claims she voiced her concerns to Editor-in-Chief Tal Blevins (above) when he was hires in January 2017 and again on March 10 before being fired five days later

TechCrunch reported the lawsuit Monday.

Will Mason
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.

Avi Horowitz (center with Mason and Freeman) , UploadVR’s expansion manager, would comment about how attractive one female employee was in front of Scott according to the complaint, saying after they spoke that he ‘had a boner’ and need to ‘rub one out.’

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.

Scott states in her court filing that there was a ‘kink room’ where male employees had ‘sexual intercourse,’ leaving behind ‘underwear’ and ‘condom wrappers’ (Freeman above)

“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.

Daisy Berns
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.

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

She’s out: Scott claims she voiced her concerns to Editor-in-Chief Tal Blevins (above) when he was hires in January 2017 and again on March 10 before being fired five days later

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

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