The real estate company Zillow, which has built a $4.5 billion empire, is now being investigated and sued for sexually harassing its female employees. The company’s Irvine, CA office has an “adult frat house” nature, says Gawker, with Zillow female employees regularly solicited for sexual favors by their male co-workers. They are also ranked by their breast size and fired if they didn’t “go along” with the work culture. Former employee Rachel Kremer filed her lawsuit on Monday for what she described as “sexual torture.”
She was hired by the company as a sales consultant in June 2012. She soon realized how degrading male higher-ups were towards their female counterparts. According to the The Washington Post, Kremer’s male supervisors sent pictures of their genitalia to her while making sexual demands. Kremer told the California court that Zillow executives said their office was better than the dating app Tinder for hookups, referring to the employee directory as “Zinder.”
Kremer was fired at the end of August 2014 for failing to meet her sales goals even though she surpassed her goals since the beginning of her employment. Kremer believes she was fired for ignoring her managers and co-workers sexual advances.
A spokesperson for Zillow, Jill Simmons, told the OC Weekly, “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. 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.” She also told the media outlet, the accusations do not reflect the entire Zillow culture, workplace environment and values. Simmons continued to state Zillow has been named one of the best workplaces by numerous press outlets.
OC Weekly also has some of the text messages that Kremer submitted.
Court exhibits a copy of the offending penis photograph as well as the following messages from company officials she claims fired her in August after she refused sexual advances:
–Gave her an unwelcomed email advertisement for a “Doc Johnson Mood Flirty Vibrator.”
–Told her she could change her office computer password only if she supplied “a boob photo.”
–Proposed “dinner, drinks” at a Newport Beach bar and then access to her “smooth vagina.”
–Wrote, “Wanna blow me and have sex tonight?” in a text message.
–Wrote, “F*ck me,” in another text message.
–Asked her to “sit on” his face in a third message.
–Wondered in print if other male employees were masturbating to her picture.”
Zillow’s Chief Operating Officer released a statement on the sexual harassment allegations to The Recorder. He stated the company is investigating as well and denied that sexual harassment is a company wide issue.
Below you can read Kremer’s lawsuit documents against Zillow.