• Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

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Former Zuckerberg staffers sue companies that run his family office, allege harassment, discrimination

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 family companies are responsible for sexual harassment and discrimination by company employees. Both suits name Chan and Zuckerberg as defendants, alleging 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.

Oct. 25, 202103:11

The lawsuits, which were filed last month in San Francisco County Superior Court, were first reported Tuesday by Insider, which has reported on the allegations over the last two years.

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

“Any complaint made to our HR personnel is taken seriously and is investigated and addressed,” he said. “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.

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 Specialty Services LLC, which provides security services for the Zuckerberg family.

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

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

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

Oct. 6, 202102:11

Doe said in his 35-page complaint that he was in charge of “overseeing and managing various properties for the Zuckerberg family.” He alleged that the 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 that 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 said he suffers from epilepsy and was forced to perform tasks that exacerbated his condition or posed a danger, such as climbing ladders or carrying heavy objects. In addition, Doe alleged that he was sexually harassed and subjected to anti-gay slurs.

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

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