Former Niantic employee files class action lawsuit alleging systemic sexual bias within the company

Legal troubles coming!

Niantic, known for its renowned augmented reality game Pokémon Go, has found itself in the midst of a legal controversy. A former employee has reportedly taken legal action by filing a class action lawsuit against the company, accusing Niantic of engaging in gender discrimination and perpetuating a culture of sexism.

The employee was one among the 230 laid-off staff members

On June 30, 2023, Niantic announced the shut down of two of their titles NBA All-World and MARVEL World of Heroes, which was an indication of directing its focus on Pokemon Go. As a follow-up, the company also closed its LA studio, which resulted in the laying off of around 230 employees. The former employee who filed the class action lawsuit against Niantic was among the staff members affected.

NBA All-World Shut down
Image via Niantic

An anonymous Asian female employee, referred to as “Jane Doe” in the complaint, joined Niantic in February 2020 as a UX designer at Niantic with a starting salary of $70,000. After being promoted later that year, she received a raise to approximately $84,000. However, around 2021, she discovered that a male colleague, despite having a lower job title and fewer responsibilities, was earning a higher salary than her.

According to the complaint, in 2022, the male colleague allegedly earned $127,000 per year, while Jane Doe received $105,000 per year, despite holding a higher job level. Even after receiving a raise to $115,000 per year in the spring of 2023, her salary remained below that of her male counterpart, reports the Verge.

The authorities explained that her pay was less because of her raised concerns

The expressed concerns regarding sexism and equal pay at Niantic sparked discussions among female employees. These conversations took place in Niantic’s employee resources group for women, known as Wolfpack. Accordingly, it became apparent that men were given preferential treatment and held in higher regard compared to their female counterparts.

Niantic Los Angeles studio, Niantic
Image via Niantic

The lawsuit read that the reason given by the Authorities to Jane Doe about being paid less was that she had previously raised concerns among her colleagues about the way employees were being treated. They also discouraged her from discussing pay equity issues or sexual bias issues with her colleagues including colleagues involved in Wolfpack moving forward.

As of now, Niantic hasn’t responded. Given the recent developments, it can be said that nothing’s going right in Niantic’s way. These allegations are a serious highlight of the gender pay disparity and unequal treatment within Niantic, which, however, needs to have a clear picture before being judged for it. We shall need to wait and see how this will unfold.

What are your thoughts on Niantic receiving a class action lawsuit from a former employee? Let us know in the comments below.

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