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Sexual harassment lawsuit against Zillow alleges they foster an “adult frat house culture”

A former Zillow employee alleges a widespread culture problem at Zillow and is suing for sexual harassment targeted at her. This lawsuit is expected to expand as her lawyer notes other employees are coming forward.

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Famed lawyer, Mark Geragos and his L.A. law firm, have just filed their third employment suit against Zillow in the last month, this time representing a former employee who alleges sexual harassment, and a fostering of an “adult frat house culture.”

The federal lawsuit accuses leadership at Zillow of “despicable and inappropriate sexual conduct” when she worked there, alleging that she received explicit text messages, and even an email containing a sex toy advert, was propositioned for sex, hit on, and even sent a text message containing a picture of a coworker’s penis. No compensation demands have been made yet, and Zillow has not yet responded in court.

Geragos alleges that his client was fired and forced to sign a confidentiality agreement after standing up for herself. He dubs his client’s treatment as “sexual torture,” which he asserts continues at the company even today.

“Zillow management routinely and unapologetically subjected [my client] to despicable and inappropriate sexual conduct throughout [her] employment,” said Geragos.

Zillow responds to the allegations

The Recorder reports that Zillow issued an email statement to them, noting that they investigated the allegations and fired a sales employee as a result.

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“The allegations in the complaint do not reflect Zillow’s culture or workplace and are completely inconsistent with our values,” said spokeswoman Jill Simmons. “We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind.”

Why Geragos expects the lawsuit to expand

Geragos is famous for representing the likes of Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Chris Brown, Scott Peterson, and many more. He believes that this lawsuit will expand, in fact, he said he has “no doubt” about that, as current and former employees have contacted his firm since the lawsuit was filed.

“Given the number of people who have made inquiries and have already signed up at our office, it is clearly a major problem at this company,” said Geragos. “They need a global resolution.”

Is this just another case of brogrammers misbehaving in the workplace, or is this a money grab now that the company has gone IPO? That’s up to the courts to sort out, but this isn’t the first lawsuit Zillow has seen recently, as they’ve also been accused of failing to pay overtime, denying breaks, and retaliating against an employee.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.


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