Sony is facing a suit alleging pay disparity, wrongful termination, and other instances of gender-based discrimination. As Axios reports, a former IT staffer filed suit in California district court yesterday.
The suit, filed in California’s northern district, is brought by Emma Majo. Though Majo is currently the sole listed plaintiff, the suit is seeking to comprise a class of female employees, both cisgender and trans, who worked at Sony’s California office “at any time during the time period beginning four years prior to the filing.” (Per Majo’s LinkedIn page, she worked at Sony, specifically in the PlayStation Network department, as an IT security risk analyst for six years before her termination earlier this year.)
Questions of fact here weigh whether or not Sony has engaged in “systemic gender discrimation” by failing to implement a standardised compensation system, and then using it to pay men more than women as a result — and grant more opportunity to male employees. Majo said that her department featured a roughly 60-40 gender split among men and women when she first started. It is now, per the suit, dominated by men.
Though Majo is filing on behalf of a class, some of the details related to her personal situation are troubling, and hint toward broader institutional gender discrimination.
For instance, in the suit, Majo alleges that one manager would not close the door if he was alone with a woman in the room. She claims that same manager refused to speak to her directly if the two of them were in a meeting alongside “a male colleague”; he’d speak only to the colleague. Majo was further passed over for promotions for six years despite repeatedly asking how she could secure one, and was even “effectively demoted.” Earlier this year, she sent a letter to higher-ups detailing the discriminiation she witnessed and experienced. Majo was let go shortly after that.
Majo is demanding a trial by jury.
Representatives for Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Majo received her right-to-sue notice (a document that allows the plaintiff to file suit in federal court) from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the same regulatory body that famously filed suit against Activision Blizzard earlier this year, alleging deep-seated harassment, discrimination, and other violations of civil rights.
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