Former employee alleges sexual harassment against SF tech startup in lawsuit

A startup tech company in San Francisco is being sued by a former female employee who claims she was the victim of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

A complaint filed in Superior Court of San Francisco goes into detail with allegations against UploadVR, based in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The former employee, Elizabeth Scott, claims she was wrongfully terminated when she took her concerns about improper conduct to management. She was hired in May 2016 as the Director of Digital and Social Media and was terminated in March 2017.

Scott is suing UploadVR and its co-founders, Will Mason and Taylor Freeman.

According to the complaint, Scott claims she was subjected to a pattern of demoralizing conduct.

“we allege in the complaint that Upload VR treats its females essentially as second class citizens, subjecting them to demeaning gender comments, sexual harassment, isolation, and pay disparity among other things,” Carolyn Cottrell, Scott’s attorney said.

Cottrell said UploadVR’s co-founders created a “boy’s club” environment that was rampant with sexual discussion. The complaint also alleges a hostile work environment that included drug use and a “kink room” to encourage sex at the workplace.

“The “kink room” is a room in the office that contained a bed and was used by male employees for sex,” Cotrell said. “Conduct like this can never be tolerated in the workplace.”

The company co-founders, Mason and Freeman, released the following statement to KTVU:

"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."

Scott is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.