Ex-Employee Files Gender Discrimination Suit Against Sony

A former Sony employee has filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant alleging a toxic work environment rife with gender discrimination led to her wrongful termination.

Sony PlayStationPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Emma Majo worked on the PlayStation gaming console in Sony’s San Mateo, California headquarters for six years until her termination. She states in her complaint that she was fired earlier this year after calling out the “tolerated” gender bias in her male-dominated department.

“Female employees are subjected to continuing unlawful disparate treatment in pay and work opportunities,” Majo detailed in the suit. “Moreover, Sony’s policies and procedures have an ongoing disparate impact on female employees.”

In her suit, Majo highlighted a laundry list of examples of discrimination she witnessed or experienced during her tenure with Sony. She alleged to have heard disparaging remarks from managers about female coworkers and even claims the company has managers, such as Yu Sugita, who “will not be alone in a room with a female with the door closed.” Majo said after noticing Sugita was problematic and would not take her ideas seriously, she decided to ask male colleagues to make requests to management on her behalf.

“Plaintiff confirmed this by sending a request through a male intern,” per the suit. “The request would garner a response when it came from a male intern while a virtually identical request would be ignored if it came from a higher-level female employee.”

According to Majo, less than 90 days after submitting a signed statement to Sony detailing her experiences, she was terminated. She says Sony claimed it was terminating her because it was phasing out its transactional video on demand department, however Majo was never even part of that department.

Majo is looking to represent a class of more than 40 women who were or are currently employed by Sony over the last four years.

Stephen Noel Ilg, who’s representing Majo in the case, noted the danger of gender bias and how it limits career comfort and growth.

“It’s shocking to hear about managers openly stating that a certain protocol exists for female workers that does not exist for males,” he said. “Blocking females from closed-door, one-on-one meetings and ignoring females’ requests explicitly creates separate protocols for females. Separate is not equal with respect to the tools workers can use to do their job and to advance their careers.”

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