Ex-Zillow employee sues over alleged sexual harassment

Suit claims male managers harassed a former employee, run the office like an "adult frat house"

Rachel Kremer, an ex- Zillow employee now suing the company
Rachel Kremer, an ex- Zillow employee now suing the company

UPDATED 10:55 a.m., December 3: A former employee of Zillow filed a lawsuit in California claiming she was sexually harassed while she worked at the company.

Rachel Kremer started working at the real estate listings company in 2012 as an inside sales consultant, according to court documents cited by Gawker. “Kremer quickly learned that Zillow had a pervasive culture of degrading women,” court documents state. “Ms. Kremer’s male supervisors ranked her according to her breast size, sent pictures of their penis[es] to her and demanded sexual gratification and obedience by Ms. Kremer to continue her employment,” the suit further alleges.

The suit claims that inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct was common among male employees at the company.

Zillow has been valued at $4.5 billion, according to Gawker. In July, the listings website bought its chief rival Trulia for $3.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. Zillow went public in 2011 and its share price has quadruple since the beginning of 2013. Last year, the site bought StreetEasy for $50 million.

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In an emailed statement, Zillow responded that it takes any allegations about the company’s work environment very seriously. “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,” a spokeswoman for the company said. “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.”

The spokeswoman added that while the men accused of the harassment had a managerial position, they weren’t Kremer’s direct supervisors.

Kremer’s legal filing includes sexually explicit text messages. She contends the company runs the California office like an “adult frat house” where “sexual harassment and misconduct are normalized, condoned, and promoted by male managers,” according to the website.

The woman, who was ultimately fired, claims that rejecting the sexual advances from her managers lead to her termination, rather than her “failure to meet her sales goals for the two preceding months.” Kremer contends she never received a warning about her performance. [Gawker] and [The Recorder] — Claire Moses