Stephen Totilo of Axios reported today that Sony PlayStation is facing litigation for “gender discrimination and wrongful termination.” Emma Majo, former IT security analyst at Sony PlayStation, wants to expand the suit to class action. The suit alleges violations of the United States’ Equal Pay Act, claiming in the lawsuit:
Sony tolerates and cultivates a work environment that discriminates against female employees, including female employees and those who identify as female. Female employees are subjected to continuing unlawful disparate treatment in pay and work opportunities. Moreover, Sony’s policies and procedures have an ongoing disparate impact on female employees. Sony maintains policies and practices regarding the promotion process that promote gender-based inequities in title and compensation. Sony maintains policies and practices regarding advancement that lead to gender-based inequities favoring males regarding promotions. Sony’s discriminatory policies, practices, and procedures include a system where women are denied opportunities for advancement at Sony. Sony’s nationwide practices, policies, and procedures result in lower compensation for female employees than similarly situated male employees.
Majo claims she was ignored by a sexist manager, was passed over for promotions, and that her employment was ended this year after making a gender bias complaint to Sony PlayStation.
This comes amid a rash of lawsuits and huge days of reckoning for videogames specifically and tech in general. Apple is facing an SEC whistleblower complaint after claiming not to silence its workers regarding working conditions and pay. Riot, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard are all in the midst of lawsuits around sexual harassment and assault and gender-based pay discrimination, with Activision Blizzard employees staging their second walkout of the year last week, demanding the CEO resign. Riot has been at the center of legal trouble regarding sexual harassment for three years, with the CEO currently being sued by his former executive assistant. All three companies have had employee petitions and online movements started to voice concerns about the way management and ownership handle these problems. And, in August, Gone Home studio Fullbright saw the resignation of co-founder Steve Gaynor following “allegations of mistreating employees, particularly women.”
While some of these other lawsuits have been prompted by investigations by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Majors-PlayStation lawsuit will invoke California’s Private Attorney General Act, which allows private citizens to sue for breach of state labor laws.