If any of you reading this are gamers, Valve will need no introduction, as they are legends in their own right. If you’re not, though, they are one of the biggest companies in PC gaming, as not only do they own the extremely popular digital storefront Steam, they have made games including Portal, the Half Life franchise and Left 4 Dead.
The lawsuit was filed by a former translator, who is alleging that her supervisor at Valve created a hostile work environment by calling her “it” after gender reassignment surgery.
She is also accusing Valve of firing her after she complained to HR about their practice of “utilising people who were interested in their products to provide translation services for free.”
Also listed in her suit are allegations of discrimination and retaliation, alongside four other causes. This suit was filed on April 12, and Valve has so far denied all wrongdoing.
Prior to 2012, the claimant worked in Valve’s Washington offices, before she informed the company that she would be undergoing gender reassignment surgery. In order to do this, she informed Valve that she would need to move to L.A in order have access to her doctors and to recover, but also due to “related disabilities including depression.”
Valve accommodated this, and allowing the claimant to work from home under the condition that she be reclassified as an independent contractor. She continued to work for Valve until this year, when she submitted the complaint about Valve “utilising people who were interested in their products to provide translation services for free.” Within days of filing this, she was fired.
The suit alleges: “Plaintiff was terminated due to her transgender status. While Defendants accommodated her at first, her direct supervisor referred to her in a derogatory fashion. He referred to Plaintiff as ‘it’ – which is highly offensive to a transgender person.”
“The term ‘it’ dehumanizes transgender persons and the usage of such a term [by the supervisor] shows that he was biased against her and shows that her transgender status was another reason he decided to terminate her. The real reasons for termination are unlawful.”
The ex-translator is seeking $1 million for general damages, $1 million for special damages, $150,000 for unpaid wages and penalties, and $1 million for loss of earnings. She is also seeking punitive damages that will be decided by the court.