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Zillow.com may face reckoning for ‘frat house’ culture

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High-profile lawyer Mark Geragos has set his sights on Web-based real estate company Zillow.com. His firm has filed four lawsuits against the company for various federal law violations.

In the two most recent suits, Gera­­gos represents a woman who claims she was the victim of age discrimination and another who alleges severe sexual harassment.

In the age bias case, the employee was a 41-year-old woman who joined the company as a sales representative after being promised a “leadership role” and a six-figure salary. She soon found that a cadre of hard-drinking, lascivious males controlled the sales leads. Those who partied with them thrived; those who wouldn’t play ball perished.

She quoted her sales manager as claiming she was “too old to close.” The woman was injured in a car accident, but was afraid to miss work. She suffered for weeks with a pinched nerve until she finally sought care. While in the hospital, she was fired for job abandonment.

In the second case, a woman claims Zillow’s “frat house” culture encourage daily sexual harassment from her bosses. She complained to one supervisor who advised her to report the harassment up the chain—and then in the same text string wondered whether the perpetrator masturbated while looking at the woman’s photo.

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