A former Niantic employee filed a lawsuit against the AR gaming company on Friday, alleging that it demeaned female employees and women of color, denied equal pay to female employees and women of color. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, accuses Niantic of creating a “boys club.” The employee was laid off as part of last week’s job cuts at the company, which affected about 230 staff.
The employee, who is an unidentified Jane Doe but is described in the complaint as an Asian woman, began working for Niantic in February 2020 with a salary of $70,000, the complaint said. Later that year, she was promoted and received a raise to about $84,000, but in “approximately” 2021, she learned that Niantic was paying a male co-worker even more money. if she has a higher job title and more responsibility than him.
In 2022, he was supposed to be paid $127,000 per year, but he was paid $105,000 per year even though he was one job higher. In or around spring 2023, she will receive a raise of $115,000 per year, still below her male counterpart.
He found out that he was paid more than $10,000 less than the salary for his job
At the same time, the employee also saw that Niantic posted the salary range for his job title and level – in 2023, California employers with more than 15 employees will have to split the ranges on salary job listings due to a salary transparency law – and seen. that he was paid more than $10,000 less than the low end of that range.
The employee discussed her concerns with other female staff members, and sexism and equal pay were raised in the company’s staff group for women, Wolfpack.
But when the employee brought her concerns to Niantic’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Director and Principal People Partner, they “clarified” that “they and Niantic’s male upper management were against her complaints or expressed concerns.” about sexism or sexual discrimination in the workplace,” the complaint said.
Executives also said at the meeting that her job evaluations were affected by her discussing workplace issues with her colleagues and said she was paid below the range. with he expressed concerns to his colleagues. According to the complaint, the employee then “unsubscribed” from the Wolfpack group “in fear that his association with the Wolfpack would harm Wolfpack employees or him.”
This year, Wolfpack found in a staff survey that “many female employees view Niantic as having a sexist work culture that hurts female employees” and most respondents ” expressed concerns about fair pay at Niantic,” the complaint said. When the findings of the survey were shared with upper management, “Niantic’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Quigley, asked the Wolfpack to remove references to the Boys Club and similar comments about sexism in the workplace from their presentation on Wolfpack members about the survey results.” The group was also told that they could not survey staff without permission from upper management.
Niantic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit against Niantic is just the latest legal action against a major gaming company based on allegations by female employees. The state of California sued Activision Blizzard in 2021 saying it fostered a culture of “persistent sexual harassment,” while Riot Games announced that year it would pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit over gender discrimination.
As part of its recent layoffs, CEO John Hanke reiterated the company’s focus Pokémon Go, its cash cow. The company is struggling to find its next big hit, closing games based on Harry Potter, Catanand, last week, the NBA game.