The woman claims she was fired from the firm’s Irvine office for opposing conduct the suit says included requests for sex and obscene photos.

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BY JEFF COLLINS – STAFF WRITER

Update: This version of the story includes Zillow’s description of its response to the sexual harassment claims.

A former Zillow employee in Orange County accused her managers in a federal lawsuit of maintaining an “adult frat house” atmosphere at the firm’s Irvine office.

Former sales associate Rachel Kremer said in the lawsuit that her ex-bosses ranked her by her breast size, repeatedly made overt sexual comments, asked her for sex and, in at least one case, sent her a picture of a penis. She maintained she was fired for opposing the conduct.

The action is the third federal suit in two weeks brought against the Seattle-based real estate website by the law firms of Mark Geragos, who in the past represented such celebrities as Michael Jackson and Winona Ryder, and Costa Mesa attorney Bobby Samini, who represented former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In the first case, which seeks to become a class action, an ex-employee accused Zillow of pressuring its Orange County staff to work unpaid overtime.

Zillow Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Philips issued a statement Tuesday saying that the firm terminated one employee in Irvine as a result of its own investigation.

“When this allegation was first made, we immediately investigated these claims and as a result took quick action and terminated a sales employee in our Irvine office,” Philips said. “The allegations in the complaint do not reflect Zillow’s culture or workplace and are completely inconsistent with our values. We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind.”

Zillow’s Irvine office, which has 250 employees, sells advertisements to real estate agents and handles customer service and web tool development.

Kremer’s lawsuit says she worked for the firm from June 2012 until she was fired last August for failing to meet sales goals for the preceding two months. The lawsuit maintains that another Zillow employee with a similar job performance was not fired.

Instead, the lawsuit says, Kremer was fired because she “opposed the sexual harassment, discrimination, and other offensive conduct.”

The lawsuit said the harassment “was not limited to one supervisor, but instead was pervasive throughout Zillow’s leadership.”

“Privately, Zillow executives bragged that the office culture led to more sexual encounters than Match.com and referred to the internal office directory as ‘Zinder,’ named after the dating application Tinder,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit accused two supervisors of nine instances of misconduct. Among them, it says, were a request for a picture of Kremer’s breasts, a text asking whether she wanted to “have sex tonight,” an email that included an ad for a sex toy and two instances in which an intoxicated manager cornered her and crudely said he wanted to have sex with her.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7734 or jcollins@ocregister.com