Former Video Game Industry Employee Sues Old Employer in Complex Lawsuit

By: Daniel Steingold | May 24, 2016

Valve, a video game company based in Washington, is being sued by a former employee in regards to her termination from the company.

The employee, who performed translation of text and legal correspondence into Spanish, asked Valve if she could move to Los Angeles to undergo a sex change in 2012. Valve agreed to her relocation, but said that she would have to work under the title of independent contractor instead of full-time employee.

Part of her suit revolves around her supposed lack of paid overtime wages, along with her reclassification of position.

Around this time, the woman filing the suit communicated to HR how she felt that unpaid interns doing translation services were mistreated. Citing how they rarely were actually given full-time positions despite being given promises they would, she specifically called out her former supervisor.

After reporting how she felt to HR, the employee was fired within days. The employee felt as if there was no justifiable reason for the termination, particularly because the official reasoning for her firing was that the position was being relocated, when she expressed wanting to relocate in the first place.

Partly because Washington is a right-to-work state, which means that the employer can terminate an individual under extended circumstances, the employee is suing under the idea that she was discriminated against for being transgender.

She claims to have been referred to in a “derogatory fashion” and to have been called “it.”

Valve, for their part, denied all allegations in a brief response.

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