Zuckerberg's 'Family Office' Sued Over Harassment, Discrimination Allegations By Ex-Staffers

© AP Photo / Peter Barreras Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg arrive at the 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Award Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
 Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg arrive at the 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Award Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.10.2021
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The "family office" of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan has already faced allegations of discrimination and workplace harrassment by employees.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan will be fending off a lawsuit from some of their former household employees, who claim they had to dfeal with racist and homophobic slurs and were denied legal work breaks and overtime payments, according to a Wednesday report by the Insider.
Despite the allegations of harassment and discrimantion in the Zuckerberg family office already having previously arisen in the media, this will be the first time they're taken to court. Per the Insider, the lawsuits were filed in San Fransisco in late September, targeting both the couple and their key aides.
One of the aides facing accusations is the former head of security Liam Booth, who no longer works for the Zuckerberg household, having left in 2019. He is accused by Mia King, a security operations assistant from 2018 to 2019, and another anonymous man of regular harassment and homophobic behaviour, since both plaintiffs are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the lawsuit, Booth would make inappropriate comments about King's gender and race, call her "ghetto", and even extended his verbal assaults to Meghan Markle, who he allegedly said had "polluted the royal bloodline".
Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill, October 5, 2021, in Washington, DC.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.10.2021
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The second plaintiff also allegedly faced anti-gay slurs, with Booth even "slapping his groin" at a sushi bar several years earlier and imitating "lewd sex acts" in front of him and other witnesses among the staff in 2018.
Booth has not commented on the lawsuit. He also didn't offer any remarks on the allegations when they first emerged years earlier.
The lawsuit also accuses Zuckerberg and Chan of unlawful labour practices, refusing to pay for overtime and denying employees legal work breaks, allegedly violating A Fair Day's Pay Act. The anonymous man, who is disabled, also claimed that the family office failed to adjust the work environment for his disability.
The family, however, expects to win the case and says that the internal investigation has not found any wrongdoing, the Insider reported.
"As we previously stated when these claims were anonymously leaked to the media over two years ago, our family office follows a strict code of conduct that requires appropriate behavior from all members of our teams. It is our expectation that each of our employees adheres to this code of conduct," Ben LaBolt, Zuckerberg's personal spokesperson, stated. "Any complaint made to our HR personnel is taken seriously and is investigated and addressed. 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."
The lawsuit is adding to Zuckerberg's woes, as he is already embroiled in a wave of media stories based on leaked internal documents that show the social media platform's failure to protect its users from harmful content online. The cascade of these stories, dubbed "The Facebook Papers", was blasted by Zuckerberg as an attempt to create a "false image" of his company with the "selective" use of leaked materials.
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