Gaming News

Two former Niantic employees sue over sexual bias claims

Two ex-Niantic employees are taking the Pokémon Go maker to court over claims of sexual bias in the workplace.

The lawsuit is set to be contested in Los Angeles tomorrow by Niantic, which is seeking to dismiss the case and move the matter into arbitration – something the company claims its former employees previously agreed to.

The legal dispute originally began in July, when a Niantic staff member left jobless by this summer’s job cull at the company

alleged that it had been a “boys club” and that she had been paid less than a male colleague despite being in a more senior job role.

The anonymous ex-employee also alleged that they had been told their pay was lower because they had raised concerns about sexual bias within the company.

A second anonymous employee joined the lawsuit in September, as the case grew into an attempted class-action suit that alleged Niantic “systemically devalued the work of female employees and especially women of colour, including plaintiffs”.

In legal documents seen by Eurogamer, the pair claim Niantic management displayed a “blatant favouritism… to men” that “permeates the company” from its CEO John Hanke down – and that Niantic’s executive board was filled with “FOJs” – Friends of John – who held much of the company’s power.

Two months later, and the issue will now reach court tomorrow, in a hearing to decide whether the case will continue or be dismissed pending arbitration.

The plaintiffs argue that Niantic’s own arbitration agreement excludes claims involving sexual bias, and that the matter should be heard in court.

Eurogamer has contacted Niantic for comment.


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