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$3.1M Lawsuit Against Valve Alleges Damages for Transgender Discrimination

Valve Corporation Headquarters

Valve currently denies everything.

Several years ago, the International Game Developers Association conducted a survey to gauge what was the most desirable company to work for in the industry. In the survey’s results, Valve came out on top, with self-employment coming in at 2nd place. Despite the generally positive attitude about Valve’s workplace, there have been complaints, including a lawsuit against the corporation involving transgender discrimination.

According to the lawsuit shared by Polygon, on April 12th of 2016, an unnamed former employee and translator for Valve filed a lawsuit against the company, citing alleged incidents of discrimination and retaliation.


The prosecutor refers to instances following her gender reassignment surgery when her supervisor purportedly referred to her as “it,” back in 2012, subsequently generating hostility in the workplace.

According to the lawsuit, Valve allowed her to move from the Washington headquarters back to Los Angeles for the surgery, and agreed to let her work from home as she underwent recovery, on the condition that her employment status be altered to independent contractor. All the while, she claims she was still performing the same duties as when she was an employee, although without employee benefits or being duly paid for working overtime.

Within the lawsuit, it states that after complaining to the Human Resources department about ongoing practices of “utilizing people who were interested in their products to provide translation services for free,” including young minors. Soon thereafter, she was fired, professedly without valid basis.

As a result, the translator has alleged retaliation in the workplace on the part of Valve Corporation apparently firing her with malicious intent, coupled with her experiences of purportedly experiencing a hostile work environment generated by transgender discrimination and the illegal business practices .

Polygon reports that the suit is seeking $1 million for general damages, $1 million for special damages, $1 million for loss of earnings, and $150,000 for unpaid wages and penalties. As of now, Valve Corporation has answered the suit by denying every allegation, pleading that the “Plaintiff’s Complaint be dismissed,” and that the “Defendant be dismissed with its costs of suit and attorneys’ fees.”

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