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A former employee of Upload VR has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging gender discrimination, a sexist work culture, and claiming she was wrongfully fired, as first reported by TechCrunch.

In her complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court last week, the former employee alleges that male employees, including UploadVR's founders, would frequently discuss their sex lives in the office, engage in sexual activity and drug use in the office, and make inappropriate comments about the company's female employees. UploadVR operates co-working offices as well as an industry publication and other services focused on virtual and augmented reality.

The former employee, who worked in social media for UploadVR from May 2016 until this past March, also claims that female employees were asked to clean the office, and were paid less than male employees. She says she was fired after complaining about the situation to her newly-hired manager in March, according to the suit.

Axios has contacted UploadVR and will update this story if we hear back.

Silicon Valley trend: If true, what the former employee describes is all too common in Silicon Valley, which has a long history of "boys club" tendencies. Most famously, former Kleiner Perkins employee Ellen Pao sued the venture capital firm for an allegedly sexist work culture that denied her opportunities to advance in the firm. Pao ultimately lost her lawsuit in a 2015 jury trial, but the case brought to the public details of common sexism found in the tech industry. A recent blog post by a former Uber engineer also detailed allegations of a hostile workplace for women, leading the company to hire former attorney general Eric Holder to lead an investigation into the allegations.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.

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