A former Sony PlayStation employee had accused the company of discriminating against women in November last year. In her complaint, the former PlayStation IT security analyst Emma Majo had alleged that she was fired because she spoke up about gender bias at the company. Shortly after, she asked the court to expand her complaint to a class-action lawsuit. Now, eight more women have accused the company of gender discrimination.
The new plaintiffs include both former and current Sony employees of which only one has chosen to remain anonymous. Plaintiff Marie Harrington worked for Sony Interactive Entertainment for 17 years, during which course she was the Chief of Staff to the Senior VP of Engineering George Cacciopo. The court filings state that when she left Sony, she reported that systemic sexism was the reason she was resigning. “When I left Sony, I told the SVP and the Director of HR Rachel Ghadban in the Rancho Bernardo office that the reason I was leaving was systemic sexism against females,” Harrington said.
Furthermore, she said that Sony lowers numerical ratings if a woman gets pregnant and takes maternity leave. “Family status is part of job performance for women but not for men…Aggression is considered acceptable or positive for men but is a negative factor for women,” she added.
Plaintiffs have accused the company of blaming the women ‘when male employees underperform.’ ‘Even if the male responsible for the project speaks up to correct the unfair criticism, Sony managers continue to blame the female worker,’ the court filings show.
The court documents also allege that the company factors current job titles while making promotion-related decisions instead of performance. “HR and managers also often say a person cannot be promoted because they do not currently hold a certain specific job title. I believe SIE makes it harder for females to get promoted, and one way it does so is by looking at current job titles and deciding a person isn’t qualified for a certain job because of her current job title, without a real examination of her skills,” another plaintiff told the court.
Another employee, Angelica Advincula, who has been working with Sony since 2007 at its San Mateo office, told the court that ‘she was told that she could not earn any promotion.’ She was told that a master’s degree was required to earn another promotion. Yet, when the company posted the job ad for the position it stated that only a bachelor’s degree was required.
Notably, sexual discrimination cases aren’t unique to Sony. Over the past couple of years, a number of gaming companies have been accused of systemic sexism. Riot Games paid $100 in December last year to settle a class-action lawsuit over gender discrimination and harassment. In addition to that, Activision Blizzard is also facing multiple investigations into claims of gender discrimination.
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