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California VR company sued for wrongful termination, harassment

A harmonious work environment contributes to the productivity and happiness of all employees. There are laws in place that protect employees from hostile work environments. When an employee requests reasonable accommodations, or the reversal of a hostile work environment, he or she cannot be fired for doing so; otherwise, that is wrongful termination. In recent news, a California startup faces allegations of creating a hostile, sex-focused work environment and is also charged with wrongfully terminating a female employee. 

The virtual reality company with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles consists of co-working spaces, training courses and a media publication. In the lawsuit, plaintiffs allege that company office space was used to host parties and that male employees would often mention the number of women that they wanted to have sex with at the company parties. A room in the office was designated as a place to go to have sex, and employees were encouraged to use it. Female employees were subjected to hearing male employees talk about wanting to have sex with them. 

In addition to the "boy's club" environment, the women in the lawsuit allege that they were paid less than male employees, were forced to complete menial tasks and were not reimbursed for business expenses. One woman claims that she lost her job as a result of reporting the inequalities. The lawsuit is still pending.

California law protects employees from wrongful termination and hostile work environments. If employees are being treated unfairly, they may wish to contact an attorney for help. A lawyer knowledgeable in the field of employment law can be a great resource for employees facing retaliation or wrongful termination from employers. 

Source: techcrunch.com, "UploadVR sued over "rampant" sexual behavior in the workplace and wrongful termination", Lucas Matney, May 15, 2017

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