Sexual harassment in companies is often swept under the rug, and even if an employee reports the harassment, appropriate action may not be taken. When employees believe they are the victims of harassment that is creating a hostile work environment, they may have legal recourse against the employer and be able to file a lawsuit. A former employee of the real estate Zillow has done just that.
According to reports, the woman worked for Zillow as a sales associate and has claimed in the suit that the company culture was similar to that of an “adult frat house.” The lawsuit claims that while the woman was working at the California office, women were given sexually indicative nicknames by a male co-worker and that the same coworker sent her sexually explicit messages and a picture of his genitals.
While Zillow fired the male sales manager in question before the lawsuit was filed, the woman claims that the issue of sexual harassment was company wide. She said that other male coworkers made inappropriate comments at company parties and requested topless photos of the woman in exchange for resetting her password.
The woman’s lawsuit also claims that she was fired unfairly for not meeting sales goals because she was not given a chance to explain why she was not performing to standards. The suit also notes that another worker hired around the same time as the woman was not fired even though the worker’s performance was similar.
Comments of a sexual nature have no place in a work environment, and harassment can make it very difficult for employees to do their jobs and perform to company standards. Whether you are currently experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace or have been terminated unfairly because you reported harassment, learning more about your options is the first step.
Source: GeekWire, “Zillow accused of ‘adult frat house’ culture, sales manager fired after sexual harassment investigation” Blair Hanley Frank, Dec. 02, 2014