A pair of former Niantic employees have filed a lawsuit against the company, sharing claims of sexual bias they experienced while working at the Pokémon GO studio. Niantic is seeking to dismiss the case in order to take things into arbitration.
The two former employees say Niantic suffers from a “boys club” mentality, with a developer who was laid off saying that she was paid less than a male colleague even though she was in a higher position at the company. The former employee also alleges that she was paid less due to speaking up about her concerns of sexual bias at the studio.
The second former staffer joined the legal battle shortly thereafter, suggesting that Niantic “systemically devalued the work of female employees and especially women of color, including plaintiffs.” Furthermore, the duo states that Niantic shows “blatant favoritism to men” and this is an attitude that “permeates the company.”
This case hits the courts tomorrow, with a hearing deciding if things go ahead or will head towards arbitration.
UPDATE:A US court has ruled that this lawsuit can go ahead. The attorney representing the two women in this case has released the following statement:
“Niantic argued that the Ending Forced Arbitration Act, the law that ended forced individual arbitrations in these types of cases, doesn’t mean what it says. Niantic’s ‘augmented reality’ might work in games, but it doesn’t work in the courtroom. Gone are the days when employers could hide gender-based discrimination, harassment, and equal pay violations behind forced individual arbitrations. We look forward to prosecuting this case in court on behalf of the women of Niantic.”
A Niantic spokesperson also responded to the court ruling with a statement of their own:
“We disagree with the outcome of today’s hearing, and are currently working on next steps.”