Eight former employees of Sony and PlayStation have joined a class action lawsuit against the company, alleging they experienced sexism and discrimination in the workforce that preventing their career advancement. The claims are being included within the initial lawsuit filed by former Sony IT security analyst Emma Majo in 2021.
Majo filed the lawsuit with a view to address an alleged culture of sexism within Sony. ‘Sony discriminated against female employees, including those who are female and those who identify as female, in compensation and promotion and subjects them to a work culture predominated by men,’ Majo claimed.
Sony later disputed this assessment, and asked to have the lawsuit tossed out in early 2022.
Lawyers representing the company argued that Majo failed to ‘identify a single policy, practice or procedure’ at the company that ‘formed the basis of any widespread intentional discrimination or had a discriminatory impact on women’.
Now, Axios reports several more women have come forward to describe a range of behaviours across Sony’s US-based offices, which have impacted their experiences at work. Demeaning comments, unwelcome advances, a lack of attention paid to work and ideas, and a lack of promotions for women are all alleged to have occurred over a number of years.
Marie Harrington, a 16-year veteran of Sony Online Entertainment and Sony PlayStation, claimed that nearly 70 men were considered for promotions during ‘calibration sessions’, while only 4 women were in the same position. She also claims she heard discriminate discussions about the personal lives of women, and claims that family obligations made them unsuitable for promotion.
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Kara Johnson, a former program manager, believes Sony is not equipped to handle toxic environments. She claimed more than 10 women left her office in Rancho Bernardo, California in the four months before she departed, and also noted apparently futile attempts to notify management about gender bias and discrimination.
A hearing on the lawsuit, including a determination of whether it will go ahead, is expected in April 2022 at the earliest. Sony has yet to comment on the new allegations.