A potential class-action lawsuit against Sony PlayStation has been bolstered by fresh allegations. Eight women, all current and former employees, have come forward with accounts of bullying, women being overlooked for senior positions, and a “toxic atmosphere”. This is by no means the first time the company has come under fire for alleged sexism.
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All of this comes in the wake of former IT security analyst Emma Majo accusing the company of fostering a workplace atmosphere hostile to women. Sony had moved to throw out this lawsuit last month, but these new claims will keep it alive.
Sony’s lawyers initially argued that Majo had failed “to identify a single policy, practice or procedure at [PlayStation] that allegedly formed the basis of any widespread intentional discrimination or had a discriminatory impact on women”. The statements from the eight women were filed in order to provide specific examples of sexism and hostility towards women.
Details at present are relatively scarce. However, we do know that the accusations relate to U.S.-based PlayStation offices. Behaviours referenced include sexist comments, unwelcome advances, and gender bias.
Pressure Mounts on Sony Over Sexism Accusations
Marie Harrington, a former employee of more than 16 years, was more specific. According to her statement, 70 men were put forward for promotion at a “calibration session”. Meanwhile, only four women were considered for the same position. Many of the other statements suggest that this is fairly typical for the company.
Former program manager Kara Johnson said that she was aware of ten women who had left the Sony office in Rancho Bernardo, California over a period of four months. A symptom of what she claims are systemic issues.
Johnson’s statement also included a letter shared with female employees when she left the company in January. It details repeated attempts to notify superiors of sexism and gender bias, as well as resistance from a man in HR to act on the allegations presented.
Where the case will go next is unknown. Sony has not yet responded to the new developments. More is likely to emerge in the coming days and weeks.