Former Valve employee alleges unfair treatment and unethical practices, seeks $3.1 million in damages

An unnamed employee of the developer says that her manager at Valve used discriminatory language, dismissed her in retaliation for a complaint, and used unpaid workers unfairly, too.

News comes today via Polygon that a former Valve employee is suing the company for more than $3.1 million in damages due to allegations of unfair treatment -- everything from discrimination to retaliation for whistleblowing unfair practices on the part of her supervisor to the company's HR department.

The crux of the complaint that unnamed former employee is making is that her job with the company was terminated in January of this year after she brought the attention of her supervisor's practice of seeking unpaid translations for Steam content; she alleges he "exploited and lured" young Spanish-speakers to work for the company unpaid.

(Similar allegations of these practices first arose on Reddit months ago. The initial post was removed, but at least one summary remains.)

The story is complicated by the allegation that this same supervisor refered to her as "it" after she gender-transitioned while working for Valve. The company had allowed her to move to Los Angeles from Washington in 2012 to undergo treatment prior to her transition, but didn't allow her to move back to retain her job in 2016 when it informed her that the role was being relocated back to Washington. 

The former employee is seeking an award of more than $3.1 million dollars -- alleging that the company's retaliatory actions and unhealthy work environment, and the 180 degree turn on accommodating her needs once the complaint against her supervisor arose -- led to unfair dismissal, had serious implications for her ability to earn a living, and the environment she was subjected to by her supervisor constituted severe emotional distress. 

Valve, for its part, has denied all of the lawsuit's allegations in official court documents. Gamasutra has reached out to the company for comment but received no response as of press time. This story will be updated if a response is received.

You can read more on the case, including the full court documents filed by both the former employee and Valve, over at Polygon.

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