Former Zuckerberg staff sue companies that run CEO's family office; allege harassment, discrimination

Asia's Tech News Daily

An ex-household manager claims he was “groped, propositioned,” while a former security assistant says she was subjected to “defamatory and hyper-sexualized remarks.”

Two people who used to work for the household of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have filed a pair of lawsuits against the billionaire couple and their numerous family-related corporate entities.

The cases claim that the Chan-Zuckerberg family companies are responsible for alleged sexual harassment and discrimination by company employees. In the same lawsuits, Chan and Zuckerberg are personally also being sued for failure to pay wages, among other claims.

The plaintiffs are Mia King and an unnamed man referred to as John Doe. Facebook itself is not involved in the lawsuits.

Internal documents reveal Facebook knew of platform’s harms

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The lawsuits, which were first reported on by Insider on Tuesday, were filed last month in San Francisco Superior Court against the Facebook CEO. Insider previously reported on these allegations over the last two years.

Ben LaBolt, a spokesperson for the Chan-Zuckerberg family, sent an emailed statement in which he said that the family office “takes complaints of workplace misconduct very seriously and promptly investigates all such matters.” LaBolt added that there were “separate multi-week investigations into the allegations” that resulted in a finding that “these allegations could not be substantiated.”

“Any complaint made to our HR personnel is taken seriously and is investigated and addressed,” he continued. “We are proud of the team of professionals who work in the family office and are confident that these claims, which seek to unfairly disparage our colleagues, will fail.”

LaBolt declined to respond to further questions from NBC News.

Court filings describe King as a Black woman and member of the LGBTQ community who worked as a “Security Operations Assistant.” She worked from May 2018 through February 2019 for Limitless Speciality Services, LLC, which provides security services for the Zuckerberg family.

Similarly, Doe, an openly gay man, worked as the “Household Operations Manager” for the Zuckerberg family from January 2017 through March 2019.

In her 29-page complaint, King said that she was subjected to numerous degrading remarks, including being called “ghetto,” a “c—,” and “b—-” in addition to inappropriate remarks about her breasts.

Additionally, she alleged that when she brought up her complaints internally, she was told by a female colleague that “men are in leadership here, men are in power,” which as King claimed, effectively condoned such remarks. She also said she was compelled to work overtime and was not paid appropriately.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pushes back after whistleblower’s testimony

Oct. 6, 202102:11

Doe, in his 35-page complaint, said that he was in charge of “overseeing and managing various properties for the Zuckerberg family.” He also alleged that this position resulted in his working more than 40 hours per week and more than eight hours per day, “for which he was never compensated,” and numerous times he was “forced to work seventeen-hour days to prepare a property prior to the Zuckerbergs’ arrival,” and was not paid overtime.

Doe also said that he suffers from epilepsy, and was forced to perform tasks that exacerbated his condition or posed a danger to him, such as climbing ladders or carrying heavy objects. Additionally, Doe alleged that he was also sexually harassed and was subject to anti-gay slurs.

“Our clients look forward to proving their allegations and seeking justice in a court of law,” Colleen Mullen, King and Doe’s attorney, told NBC News.

Neither Zuckerberg, nor any other of the named defendants have formally responded in court to the allegations in the cases. No hearings have been scheduled as of yet.

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