Ex-employee sues ‘Pokémon Go’ maker Niantic for creating ‘boys club,’ paying her $10K less

Ex-employee sues ‘Pokémon Go’ maker Niantic for creating ‘boys club,’ paying her $10K less
via Niantic
Carl Samson
July 14, 2023
A former employee at Niantic, Inc., the developer of “Pokémon Go,” is suing the San Francisco-based company for its work culture that allegedly disadvantages women and women of color, according to reports.
The allegations: The ex-staff member, identified only as Jane Doe and described in the complaint as an Asian female, is accusing Niantic of paying a male colleague more than her despite her higher position and wider responsibilities, according to The Verge. In 2022, that colleague was allegedly paid $127,000 per year, while she received $105,000.
Earlier this year, Doe’s salary was raised to $115,000, but that was still $12,000 below her colleague’s. A pay range for her job title reportedly posted by Niantic itself in compliance with state law helped her see that she was “being paid more than $10,000 less than the bottom end of that range.”
Doe purportedly took her concerns to the company’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Director and Principal People Partner, but the meeting only “made clear” that the company’s male upper management was “hostile” to her complaints. Doe also allegedly learned that she was paid less for speaking up.
The bigger picture: After meeting executives, Doe allegedly cut ties with Wolfpack — the company’s employee resources group for women — over fears that her association with the group “would disadvantage Wolfpack employees or her.” In a survey, the group found that “many” female staffers saw Niantic as having a “sexist work culture that disadvantages female employees” and that most respondents “expressed concerns about equal pay at Niantic.”
In response to the survey, Chief Marketing Officer Mike Quigley allegedly required Wolfpack to remove “Boys Club” references and comments about sexism from their presentation to Wolfpack employees about the findings of the survey. The group was also told that they could not conduct surveys without upper management giving approval first.
The lawsuit: “Niantic’s treatment of its female employees, including Plaintiff, sent them the message that they were not valued at Niantic and would be held back in the workplace because they are women and/or women of color,” the suit stated, according to Polygon.
“Niantic’s treatment of its female employees who voiced concerns about discrimination in the workplace also sent them the message that Niantic did not tolerate any opposition to or concern about the way women were treated there.”
The suit is seeking class-action status. As of this writing, Niantic has not publicly responded to the allegations.

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