The company behind Steam, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal and Half-life is in the doghouse again.
Lawsuit accuses Valve of exploiting free workers, discrimination
Over $3 million is on the line in a new lawsuit levelled at Valve.
According to Polygon, the suit alleges a former employee was fired in retaliation just days after complaining to HR that Valve was “utilizing people who were interested in their products to provide translation services for free”. The April 12 suit also alleges transphobic discrimination against the litigant.
Lawyers for the litigant are seeking $2 million in damages, $150,000 for unpaid wages and penalties and $1 million for loss of earning, as well as punitive damages. In a recent response, Valve has denied wrongdoing on all counts and is seeking a dismissal.
This isn’t the first time complaints have been levelled regarding Valve’s relationship with unpaid translators (Polygon linked a Reddit thread on the matter; unfortunately the OP has been removed), or that a specific member of Valve’s management has been singled out over the matter.
Both allegations – the discrimination and dodgy business dealings – are only the latest in a series of reports that paint a somewhat grim picture of Valve, such as Jeri Ellsworth’s description of the company as clique-driven. It’s an issue regularly swept under the rug by the “good guy Valve” meme.