PlayStation has been accused of gender discrimination and wrongful termination in a new lawsuit that was filed in California court of Monday.
The suit was brought forward by Emma Majo, a former IT security analyst who claims she was discriminated against during her time working at Sony. She accuses Sony of passing her up for promotion, paying her less than men working in similar roles, and firing her when she complained to HR.
"[Majo] alleges that employees who are female or identify as female were not compensated equally to male employees who had substantially similar job classifications, functions, titles, and/or duties; were not compensated equally to male employees who performed substantially similar work; were denied equal compensation to similarly situated male employees by being held back to lower pay levels; and/or were denied promotions," read court documents first reported by Axios.
"Sony tolerates and cultivates a work environment that discriminates against female employees, including female employees 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."
The suit specifically mentions Majo was passed over for promotions multiple times and generally ignored by her male managers. She was terminated after bringing up the issues of gender bias in an official complaint, although she was told by Sony that her termination was due to the closure of an internal department - a department that Majo wasn't even a part of.
Majo's lawyer plans to invoke the US Equal Pay Act and the California Private Attorney General Act, which allows private citizens to sue companies that breach labor laws. She's currently seeking others to join this class action suit against Sony.
The video game industry has come under increased scrutiny as multiple companies find themselves fighting off very similar lawsuits. Activision Blizzard is the first that comes to mind, with the company accused of having a "frat boy workplace culture" that has been alleged to result in multiple rapes and even one suicide. Riot was sued for gender discrimination back in 2018, although that suit eventually went to arbitration - another practice that many in the games industry are fighting against. And don't forget Ubisoft, which has its own lawsuit for gender discrimination and a toxic work environment that has already resulted in the departure of several high-ranking executives.
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