Only a few days since the news about Justin Roiland facing charges for domestic battery and false imprisonment broke, more such allegations have started coming to light. The latest one comes via a new report, which claims that a former employee of Squanch Games sued the company in 2018 over alleged sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
As reported by Kotaku, the company initially denied these claims, but later agreed to a settlement. The suit was filed in August 2018 in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Sarah Doukakos, who worked as a designer at Squanch. As per Doukakos' allegations, she was sexually harassed by the technical director at the time, Jeff Dixon. She reportedly made multiple complaints about the matter, but was allegedly ignored by co-founder and former CEO Tanya Watson. The lawsuit goes on to say that she was then wrongfully terminated and forced to sign a liability release attached to her severance package.
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The lawsuit went on to claim that Dixon's alleged actions included unwanted hugs and insulting her intelligence. Things apparently got so bad that Doukakos would ask her managers to present her ideas to Dixon in place of her.
"On August 11, 2017, Plaintiff spoke to Watson and expressed her issues with Mr. Dixon, including the unwanted touching and how Dixon would treat Plaintiff differently because she was female," states the lawsuit. "In response, Watson told Plaintiff, ‘that’s just how this generation of guys are’ and instructed plaintiff to sit quietly, take notes, and to smile whenever the males, including Dixon, were speaking. Plaintiff explicitly told Watson that Plaintiff should not have to act differently as a woman to get heard."
Despite receiving positive reviews from her manager, Doukakos was allegedly put on a "performance improvement plan" by the company and eventually had to work 12-hour shifts during crunch periods. She was eventually fired on November 1, 2023 which the lawsuit claims was punishment for her complaints.
“Squanch Games is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment for our team,” said a Squanch Games spokesperson to Kotaku. “We don’t publicly disclose personnel matters, and we stand by the decision we made in 2017, not to reveal the confidential information as it relates to this case.”