Corporate Manager Prompts Lawsuit After Allegedly Sending Penis Photo To Co-Worker
Welcome to 2014 boys!
If a male corporate manager wants to invite a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2014, he will electronically send a photograph of a penis to a female co-worker.
If this bozo has any worries about failing on this crazy mission, he would also email or text graphic requests for sex as well as tie work issues to lewd acts.
In her Dec. 1 federal lawsuit, Orange County's Rachel Kremer claims she was the victim of such illegal conduct while working in the Irvine office of Zillow, Inc., a place she says had "a pervasive culture of degrading women" and resembled an "adult frat house."
Zillow spokesperson Jill Simmons said company officials are aware of the case.
"Zillow takes any allegations about our work environment very seriously," said Simmons. "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."
Sadly for Seattle-based Zillow, however, Kremer hired celebrity/TV mouthpiece lawyer Mark Geragos and attached as 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, "Fuck 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.
Additionally, Geragos claims he will prove Zillow management in Irvine ranked female employees by breast size.
"Sadly for Ms. Kremer, by not participating in this culture, she felt she would be outcast and terminated," the lawyer wrote in the court filing. "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 the other women who have been silenced at Zillow and remain exposed to horrific and unthinkable acts."
Lawyers for Zillow, a real estate services company, have not yet filed a response inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
But Simmons said the company's culture--a place that has repeatedly won "best workplace" honors given by media outlets in Washington and California--can withstand scrutiny.
"It's incredibly important to us to create and maintain a work environment that is safe, comfortable and inclusive for everyone," she said. "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."
Kremer is seeking unspecified damages for sexual harassment, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination after an as yet unscheduled jury trial.
Orange County has a recent history of scandals involving brazenly immature conduct. In 2010, for example, a black businessman and regular customer at a Newport Beach restaurant noticed a white bartender had repeatedly given him credit card receipts that called him racist names like "McStinkyNi**er," "McNigShit," and "McCottenwood."
That case settled out of court for more than $1 million.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts