What were the odds?
[Natalie] Cedeno claims the atmosphere at the company changed substantially after Penthouse Media Group acquired Various Inc., the operator of Adult FriendFinder and other websites, in 2007 and changed its name to FriendFinder Networks. Various was buttoned-up, she says, despite operating websites where users planned hookups. Penthouse, by comparison, was pure frat-boy raunch — an attitude which culminated in an incident where a Penthouse Pet draped her boobs on an unwilling female employee in a staged photo meant to humiliate her.
Check out some of the allegations after the jump.
The allegations suggest that working at Penthouse would be a terrible idea. Except on those days where it was a glorious idea. But even those days would ultimately end badly. You know what I mean:
In May 2008 FriendFinder brought two Penthouse Pets and a male model into the Sunnyvale office to serve ice cream to the employees. The Pets were dressed in revealing attire that caused a female supervisor to complain that their presence and the fact that they were “porn stars” made her so uncomfortable that she would stay in her office away from this activity. The Pets went up to the supervisor’s office and one of them placed her breasts on the employees head while two other employees’ took pictures. The supervisor came to Plaintiff’s office in tears. She was visibly shaken and upset and informed Plaintiff that she was afraid the photos would be put on the Internet. Plaintiff had previously telephoned Carmela Monti, informed her that the Pets were pinching the nipples of the male employees, rubbing their bare chest and inappropriately touching staff, and asked that Monti allow her to have the Pets removed from the office. Monti had refused Plaintiff’s request and after the incident involving the supervisor Plaintiff called Monti again, asking that the Pets be removed because their behavior violated the company’s sexual harassment policy. Monti again refused Plaintiff’s request that she be authorized to direct the Pets to leave the office. COO Tony Previte appeared supported Monti’s decision, stating that the employee who complained was a “trouble maker.”
Legally, this woman has the right to work anywhere she wants to, without being subjected to a discriminatory work environment. That is absolutely clear.
But, I mean, put it like this: if I’m a vegetarian, I’m not going to work at an abattoir. I have a right to, but I’m simply not going to do it. And if I’m working for Tofu Inc, and the company is bought out by an abattoir, I’m probably going to quit long before the spring calves are turned into succulent veal.
Cedeno’s claims that Adult FriendFinder was much more friendly to woman are interesting. It’s a powerful statement about the how corporate culture can be very different within the same industry.
In or about August or September, 2008, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Las Vegas office, Jason Rasberry, made inappropriate sexual comments concerning a female employee (TE). The CTO said to 5-6 male coworkers in the presence of TE (the group was standing together on a smoke break) “I’ve had seen TE naked and her breasts are too small.” The CTO admitted having made the comment. The CTO had a history of previous misconduct in the workplace for which he had received disciplinary action. Prior to this incident the CTO had asked a male applicant who was interviewing for a position in the company’s Technology Department to “chose any item and he would have one of the girls on cams.com insert it into her vagina
When the tech guy is asking interview questions like that, that does seem to be a problem.