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Zillow Accused of Behaving Like ‘Adult Frat House’ in Sexual Harassment Suit
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A Zillow employee has accused the company of constant sexual harassment.

Summary: A former Zillow employee has filed a sexual harassment suit against the company, accusing her supervisors of making numerous vulgar advances to her.

Real estate database startup Zillow has been sued by a former employee for sexual harassment, LAist.com reports. Rachel Kremer worked for Zillow as an Inside Sales Consultant in 2012. Kremer claims that she was ranked by her breast size and was the victim of several unnerving advances from her supervisors.

  
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Here is a recent article about the owner of the Dallas Cowboys being sued for sexual harassment.

Kremer worked in Orange County for Zillow, although the company is based in Seattle, Washington. The complaint, which was filed in California court, states that Kremer was harassed by her supervisors, who repeatedly made unwanted advances to her, and then fired her unjustly, claiming that she did not make her sales goal for two months. The lawsuit also alleges that Zillow failed to give her any warning about her sales numbers, and that Kremer’s coworkers with similar sales numbers were allowed to keep their jobs. Kremer argues that she was terminated because she rejected her supervisor’s advances.

Here’s a case where an employee won a sexual harassment lawsuit against a female boss.

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Further, the complaint depicts the office culture at Zillow as an “adult frat house,” with Kremer fearful that she would lose her job if she did not play along and if she rejected her supervisors. The complaint says that Kremer was subjected to a form of “sexual torture.” It reads, “Eventually, after experiencing the most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable, Ms. Kremer was terminated. Zillow attempted to cover up their conduct by having Ms. Kremer sign a confidentiality agreement and release. Ms. Kremer brings this action based on the sexual torture she endured, and for other women who have been silenced at Zillow, and remain exposed to horrific and unthinkable acts.”



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As far as the specific instances of misconduct, the complaint describes how Gabe Schmidt, Kremer’s supervisor, told Kremer that an IT employee would help her change her password if she sent a picture of her breasts. On another occasion, Schmidt texted Kremer and invited her out to a bar called 333: “Call me. Matt is showering. Thinking 333 dinner drinks and your smooth vagina.” As if that weren’t blunt enough, on yet another occasion, Schmidt asked Kremer if she wanted to have sex with him. He even sent a picture of his erect penis to her, as if that would woo her. When another employee named Rachel was hired, her supervisors laughed that the new girl was “Rachel 2.0” because she had larger breasts and “less miles on her.”

Last year, a law school dean took a leave of absence after sexual harassment allegations were made against him.

A Zillow spokesperson said that one person has been fired over these claims, and that the company is investigating. Two additional lawsuits have been filed against Zillow, all by the same law firm, Geragos & Geragos. One accuses Zillow of failing to pay overtime and denying employees their meal breaks, and another is on behalf of an employee who claims he was retaliated against for exposing corruption within the company, including credit card fraud.

Zillow has also issued a statement, saying, “Zillow takes any allegations about our work environment very seriously. When this allegation was first made, we immediately investigated these claims and as a result took quick action and terminated a sales employee in our Irvine office. The allegations in the complaint do not reflect Zillow’s culture or workplace and are completely inconsistent with our values. We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind. It’s incredibly important to us to create and maintain a work environment that is safe, comfortable and inclusive for everyone. Our people are our greatest asset as a company, and we take great pride in our strong culture and reputation as a best place to work.”

Photo credit: LAist.com



 

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