Ex-Zillow employee accuses company of wrongful termination

Former salesperson claims he was punished for uncovering "clandestine credit card fraud scheme" at listings giant

TRD New York /
May.May 19, 2015 02:40 PM

A former Zillow employee who sued the company in November for allegedly retaliating against him after he exposed credit card fraud is now accusing the listings giant of wrongful termination.

According to new documents filed in the case Monday, Zillow sales associate Ashley Boehler claims he was fired earlier this month following a lawsuit he filed against the company, in which he claims he was punished for discovering a “clandestine credit card fraud scheme.” The punishments, Boehler claims, included intimidation and harassment designed to make it “impossible for him to succeed.” 

“This is not a new case, nor has a new complaint been filed,”a Zillow representative told The Real Deal. “The court has already reviewed and dismissed certain of these claims.We will not comment on confidential employee matters.”

In March, the judge dismissed some of Boehler’s claims that he was retaliated against by Zillow. He is yet to officially file an amended complaint with the new accusations. But in the new documents, he alleges he found repeated cases of Zillow’s “fraudulent conduct designed to rip off consumers and the public,” and reported the scheme to his supervisors, but was told by them not to get involved.

Zillow told Boehler he was fired for poor performance, according to the new documents, and denies Boehler was retaliated against for reporting the alleged misconduct.

In another lawsuit, James Friedrich, a former inside sales consultant at Zillow, sued the company for allegedly discovering similar misconduct as described by Boehler.

After reporting the “illegal activity” to Zillow, Friedrich claims he suffered “pervasive harassment and retaliation” which forced him to quit. He is now at tenant-focused real estate firm Cresa. Zillow’s motion to dismiss Friedrich’s complaint is pending.

A former female employee, Rachel Kremer, sued the company in December, alleging she was sexually assaulted by Zillow’s management who “imposed a pervasive culture of degrading women.” according to the complaint. In February, a judge denied Zillow’s motion to dismiss the case, but the company was successful in having several of the allegations dropped.

Zillow, Which Was Was Named A Best Place to Work in Glassdoor’s 2015 Employee’s Choice awards, recently decided to shut down its rental broker service RentJuice, which the company acquired for $40 million three years ago, as TRD reported.

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