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Lawsuit: PlayVS Accused of Wrongful Termination, Pregnancy Discrimination

— April 20, 2022

A former employee is suing PlayVS over claims of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.

PlayVS, a California high school esports company, was recently hit with a lawsuit over allegations of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination. The suit was filed on behalf of Rachel Waynick. According to the suit, which was filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Waynick worked as a quality assurance analyst at PlayVS for seven months before she was terminated last year. 

Image of Los Angeles Superior Court
Los Angeles Superior Court; image courtesy of
jjron via Wikimedia Commons,

The suit alleges that Waynick was fired from her job and discriminated against after she informed her employer that she was pregnant. Before her termination, she was placed on a performance improvement plan “for no valid reason,” the suit claims. The timing of the performance improvement plan has caused suspicion because it happened a day after Waynick told her manager that she was pregnant on June 10, 2021. On June 11, she was placed on the performance improvement plan. 

In response, Waynick went to her HR department and filed a complaint. Instead of compassion and help to remedy the matter, she allegedly “received unfair treatment and hostility in the workplace.” The suit states:

“In retaliation for complaining about the illegal conduct, plaintiff was… subjected to heightened scrutiny, unfairly reprimanded and criticized, subjected to undesirable work conditions and terminated.”

It’s important to note that, in addition to the abovementioned allegations, Waynick was placed on early pregnancy leave by her doctor from July 23 to August 16 when she began experiencing “pregnancy complications and workplace-related stress.” When she returned on August 17, she had been “locked out of her computer, and later in the day, PlayVS terminated her.” 

As part of her lawsuit, Waynick claims her employer “violated five counts of California labor law, including discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and wrongful termination.” As a result, she is seeking unspecified damages and compensation for attorney’s fees. 

This lawsuit is only one of many legal headaches for PlayVS. Earlier this year, the company was accused of having “contentious relationships with non-profit organizations who also ran high school esports tournaments.” On top of that, earlier this month, PlayVS was accused of misleading “Epic Games in its partnership by allowing fraudulent players to compete in high school and college ‘Fortnite’ tournaments.” Then, earlier this week the company sent cease and desist letters to a number of high school esports organizations claiming it has “exclusive licenses to games published by Activision Blizzard and Nintendo.” However, both Nintendo and Activision Blizzard stated that PlayVS “does not hold exclusive licenses to run high school esports tournaments for their games.”


Former Employee Sues PlayVS for Alleged Pregnancy Discrimination, Wrongful Termination

Female former employee sues PlayVS for alleged pregnancy discrimination, wrongful termination

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