By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close
PlayStation is Facing a Lawsuit for Gender Discrimination

PlayStation is Facing a Lawsuit for Gender Discrimination - News

by William D'Angelo , posted 2 days ago / 2,406 Views

Former IT security analyst at Sony Interactive Entertainment Emma Majo has filed a lawsuit in California against the company for gender discrimination and wrongful termination. The lawsuit was spotted by Axios and issued on November 22.

The lawsuit claims PlayStation has violated the United States' Equal Pay Act by discriminating against female employees "in compensation and promotion and subjects them to a work culture predominated by men." 

Majo says she was ignored by a manager who only responded to men and was passed over for promotions. She added that was terminated this year after submitting a gender bias complaint. 

She also claims other women at PlayStation have struggled to get promoted at the same rate as men. 

PlayStation is Facing a Lawsuit for Gender Discrimination

"Sony tolerates and cultivates a work environment that discriminates against female employees, including female employees and those who identify as female," reads the lawsuit. Female employees are subjected to continuing unlawful disparate treatment in pay and work opportunities.

"Moreover, Sony’s policies and procedures have an ongoing disparate impact on female employees. Sony maintains policies and practices regarding the promotion process that promote gender-based inequities in title and compensation.

"Sony maintains policies and practices regarding advancement that lead to gender-based inequities favoring males regarding promotions. Sony’s discriminatory policies, practices, and procedures include a system where women are denied opportunities for advancement at Sony.

"Sony’s nationwide practices, policies, and procedures result in lower compensation for female employees than similarly situated male employees."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


More Articles

30 Comments
Dante9 (on 24 November 2021)

Well, she would have to show that promotions are not based on merit, but gender, and that's not an easy thing to show. The general gripe about the pay gap has been debunked ages ago, women tend to work less lucrative positions and fewer hours, they don't negotiate raises for themselves and such. People doing the exact same job with the exact same impact should of course be equally paid regardless of gender and I'm sure there are cases where this does not happen, these should be corrected of course.
Once again, I'm not going to hop on a bandwagon based on mere allegations. Although, we have seen that a lot of virtue signaling is just projection, those who claim to be holier than thou tend to have the most skeletons in their closets.

  • +9
KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

I am curious as to the specifics of these "practices, policies, and procedures" referred to in the article.

  • +5
JWeinCom KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

If only the article linked to a document that explained the legal underpinnings of the claim and explains things like that. If only...

  • +8
KLAMarine JWeinCom (on 23 November 2021)

Yeah, I looked into those links after and read a bit. Lost interest quickly though, I have zero stake in this case. I'm going to let high-priced lawyers sort all that out; they're at least getting paid for their time and effort...

  • +2
JuliusHackebeil (on 23 November 2021)

What is meant by "subjects them [women] to a work culture predominated by men."? How is this a bad thing?

  • +4
The Fury JuliusHackebeil (on 24 November 2021)

Some might consider it bad for that employee but it is up to said employee to stay in that position if they aren't feeling comfortable or welcome. Yet based on how the industry (IT) works, it's hard to not do that. In my office, we have 15 men and 1 woman, not because we aren't hiring women but because generally, they don't apply to our IT/computer related jobs.

  • +4
JuliusHackebeil The Fury (on 24 November 2021)

I get your point. But at the same time I think it is crazy to say that it is bad to work with a lot of men. Depends on the mens behavoir, not on their gender. I worked in male, female and mixed job environments. And it always dependet on the individual how well I got along with everybody, not on the predominant gender if the group.

Since you are in IT, do you see discriminatory behavoir often? Do you visit other offices, or is your work experience limited to one specific environment?

  • +4
The Fury JuliusHackebeil (on 24 November 2021)

On the latter stuff, no to discriminatory behavior, if at all but then it's hard to know sometimes. If any of our usual banter is coming off as offensive, it's hard to know as well, we mostly moan about work or just casual talk of games, films, football etc but it's limited by who we have to talk to. I talk about these things as it's another bunch of guys I have to talk to. Yet this might be different in say our Marketing or Accounting teams which are mainly women.

I understand and agree with you however, it is not inherently bad, the idea of 'subjecting' someone to work in a predominantly male dominated role is odd when the industry (IT) in general is predominantly male dominated because it just is. Just like teaching or nursing is predominately female. This does not mean those who are male are being subjected to these environments, as it's their choice of career.

  • +5
JuliusHackebeil The Fury (on 24 November 2021)

Thanks for sharing! I guess it is true that it is sometimes hard to know. And hard to prove as well I suppose.
With these cases, I never know what I should hope for. Either outcome seems bad. If she lies, it is a mockery of others real sufferings. Thats bad. And if she tells the truth, thats clearly also bad, perhaps even worse since she would hardly be the only one suffering under Sonys conditions.

  • +2
DonFerrari (on 24 November 2021)

Every company in the world is considered evil by some employee, so until the process is judged or a heavy number of employees formally adhere to the complain I'll just go for person is unhappy for being fired.

  • +3
AkimboCurly (on 24 November 2021)

Reading between the lines (and going on past complaints I have seen in my line of work) the argument appears to be that the competitive structure and atmosphere gives men an advantage in that environment compared to women.

Unfortunately for the plaintiff this line of argument never works out in court because atmosphere is 100% heresay in court, and the competitive structure itself makes no specific distinction between men and women. The only actionable part of her claims is that her manager refused to talk to her directly, but you get the same problem there with heresay from witnesses.

She also won't be able to prove discrimination in compensation without this, because the data can usually perfectly explain pay differences between men and women using other factors, eg. performance, negotiation, experience, etc, leaving no explainatory gap left open for "discrimination" to have any significant impact.

Point being that, at least in the UK, this suit would not get very far, unless she's got some concrete evidence.

  • +1
2zosteven (on 23 November 2021)

Activision? time to boycott Sony!! wait bill gate involved in his own mess also? shit boycott the industry!!! lol

  • +1
2zosteven 2zosteven (on 24 November 2021)

Cod players?

  • +2
KratosLives (on 25 November 2021)

Men will always prefer to hire more guys. It's safer, less risk if you think about it. But it depends on the industry.

  • 0
UteGuy (on 23 November 2021)

Gender pay disparity is wide spread and an issue in basically the entire workforce in general. Hopefully it becomes less of an issue but companies like Sony can help turn things around if they deal with it.

  • 0
gtotheunit91 (on 23 November 2021)

I'm convinced this is a problem at all major video game companies.

  • 0
trunkswd gtotheunit91 (on 23 November 2021)

I have the same feeling. It is probably an issue in the entire tech industry as well.

  • 0
mjk45 trunkswd (on 23 November 2021)

It's an ongoing issue for all types of industry and commerce in general its a societal issue not something bound to one particular industry its not something new or hasn't been discussed.

  • -3
mjk45 mjk45 (on 23 November 2021)

I usually don't reply about being down voted but in this case i assume that someone doesn't feel that gender discrimination is widespread or it 's an ongoing issue.

  • -3
KLAMarine gtotheunit91 (on 23 November 2021)

What has you so convinced?

  • +6
KLAMarine KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

Did I ask a wrong question?

  • +3
trunkswd KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

Not that I am aware of. I am not convinced. Just a feeling gender inequality happens at most of the bigger publishers and developers. What is important is how the company handles when someone is discriminated against.

  • +2
mjk45 KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

Because gender inequality in the workforce is well known whether it be pay differential or promotional opportunity and is systemic across all strata's of industry and commerce this isn't new.

  • -1
KLAMarine mjk45 (on 23 November 2021)

When assessing pay differentials, are we comparing pay for same job titles?

  • +2
mjk45 KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

Yes beside the overall pay gap that can be attributed to woman making up the majority when it comes to low paying work like for instance check outs and casual positions there is disparity between like for like the disparity is smaller than the overall gap but it is still significant it also isn't just about mandated equal salaries for the same work because even with equal pay men over a twenty year time frame end up earning more due to their elevation up the
corporate ladder plus after a certain point many salaries are done
by way of individual contracts a much publicised case here in Australia was when one of the countries most storied journalists TV host Lisa Wilkinson left Channel 9 in Australia when her male co host was offered over twice her salary and they refused to match it

  • -2
gtotheunit91 KLAMarine (on 23 November 2021)

There's been several major video game companies that have been deeply involved in gender discrimination or sexual harassment controversies/lawsuits over the past several years. Most notably Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Ubisoft, and Paradox Interactive. Now throw PlayStation into the mix.

  • -2
JackHandy gtotheunit91 (on 23 November 2021)

I'm convinced this is a problem on planet earth, period.

  • +2
SanAndreasX (on 23 November 2021)

And on the right side of my screen is the article where Phil Spencer and Jim Ryan are criticizing Activision Blizzard's corporate culture. Looks like the whole industry is due for a reckoning with regards to the treatment of female employees.

  • -2
mjk45 SanAndreasX (on 23 November 2021)

While you are correct, as soon as the criticisms appeared I knew we would see something turn up like this, but no matter the motivation for the stories appearance at this particular time or whether this particular complaint has merit or not it has shown we have much still to do and while this might be wishful thinking on my part , I see it has another opportunity to talk about gender equality and the effect on the workplace that the patriarchal system that has governed corporates structures since the beginning .

instead I'm afraid that we will be drowned out by the typical chant that they are all hypocrites .because following that line means every executive speaking out is automatically a hypocrite . instead of seeing people speaking out on Activision's lack of response to their sexual abuse crisis rather than be silent as a good thing to do despite the underlining systemic problems inherent in corporate life that quite often are of a general nature , we should encourage them while also urging those voices to do more to help effect change that if done properly means a reshaping at a fundamental level in the way we approach the 21st century workplace .

  • 0
Rafie (on 24 November 2021)

The irony and the timing.....

  • -3