The Real Deal New York

Ex-WeWork “director of culture” sues company over alleged sexual assaults

Ruby Anaya, 33, says she was assaulted two times at company events
October 12, 2018 08:30AM

Ruby Anaya and Miguel McKelvey (Credit: Twitter and Collision Conf via Flickr)

WeWork’s former “director of culture” is suing the massive co-working company over two alleged incidents of sexual assault, which she said were made possible by the company’s pervasive “entitled frat-boy” culture.

Ruby Anaya, 33, had worked at WeWork for the past four years but was ousted in August, according to NBC. She claims to have been sexually assaulted two times at company events that featured plenty of alcohol.

The first alleged incident occurred at a “WeWork Summer Camp” event in August 2017, when an employee grabbed her inappropriately from behind, according to the lawsuit. The second happened after a company-wide event in January, when a man grabbed her waist and forcibly kissed her after she put her hand on his shoulder to steady herself when she almost tripped, the suit says.

She reported both of the incidents to human resources, but the department did virtually nothing about them, and she was fired after complaining about this lack of response, according to the suit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. She is seeking lost wages and benefits, along with costs of suit and attorneys’ fees, in damages. WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey, who is the “chief culture officer,” is named in the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for WeWork described the claims as “meritless” and said Anaya was fired “solely because of her poor performance,” according to NBC.

WeWork, valued last year at $20 billion, recently became the largest office tenant in Manhattan, and SoftBank is reportedly in talks to take a majority stake in the company. [NBC] – Eddie Small