United States District Court, W.D. Washington
S. Zilly, United States District Judge
Court has jurisdiction over this civil action under 28 U.S.C.
section 1332 (diversity jurisdiction) as the parties are
diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.
plaintiff will pursue at trial the following claims:
1. Wrongful Termination based on Defendant's
discriminatory motive for terminating Plaintiff because of
her transgender status and/or her disabilities.
2. Discrimination based on Defendant's termination of
Plaintiff because of her transgender status and/or
3. Unpaid Wages (Overtime) based on Defendant's failure
to compensate Plaintiff for days she worked in excess of
eight hours and weeks she worked in excess of 40 hours.
4. Cal. Business and Professional Code 17200 -17208, claims
based on Defendant's violation of wage and hours laws,
specifically Defendant's failure to pay Plaintiff all
wages due and owing, including overtime wages.
defendant will pursue the following affirmative defenses:
Statute of limitations:
to California's one-year statute of limitations,
Defendant asserts that Plaintiff's discrimination claim
is time-barred to the extent it is based on alleged acts of
discrimination occurring before March 30, 2015.
Failure to mitigate:
damages are limited to the extent she voluntarily resigned in
2017 from comparable employment at another computer games
designer and distributor, NetMarble. Plaintiff's job at
NetMarble provided her with pay, benefits, and job duties
that were substantially similar to those she had in her prior
work with Defendant. Plaintiff's damages are further
limited to the extent she did not otherwise exercise
reasonable diligence in searching for, accepting and
retaining comparable employment after her work for Valve
Limitation on damages:
addition, as discussed further in Valve's Motions in
Limine and in its Trial Brief, defendant believes there
should be no jury trial concerning any aspect of
Plaintiff's employee/independent contractor
misclassification claim because (1) the Court has already
dismissed her claims under California Labor Code Section
226.8; (2) Defendant has already provided Plaintiff with all
of the unpaid wages and associated interest to which she
claims to be entitled; (3) her request for damages under
Chapter 5 (i.e., Section 17200 et seq) of the California
Business and Professions Code is improper because that
Chapter does not authorize the recovery of any damages, and
because she has already been provided with the only
restitutionary relief to which she might be entitled, namely,
unpaid wages and associated interest; (4) her request for
treble damages based on the language of Chapter 4 of the
California Business and Professions Code is improper because
she has not and cannot assert a cause of action under the
Chapter for employee/independent contractor
misclassification; and (5) her claim for unpaid final wages
is barred under California law in cases involving disputes
about employee/independent contractor misclassification.
following facts are admitted by the parties:
Plaintiff is a transgender woman.
Plaintiff worked for Defendant as a translator and in
customer support from 2008 until January 2016.
January 15, 2016 Defendant notified Plaintiff that it decided
to end Plaintiff's work with Defendant and bring Spanish
translations in-house rather than continue to have the work
done remotely. Defendant notified Plaintiff it is a company
of in-house collaborators and Plaintiff being off site made
it more difficult to communicate with her effectively
regarding issues within the STS community.
response to the termination notice, Plaintiff asked “If
I were willing to relocate back to Seattle, do you believe
the company would be willing to restore me as a full time
in-house employee?” Defendant responded “We are
not interested in moving you back to a full time position at
Valve.” 5. In 2013, Defendant provided positive
feedback to Plaintiff regarding her performance.
the year preceding her termination, Defendant gave Plaintiff
an hourly raise from $40 per hour to $45 per hour.
the time of termination, Defendant had no issue with the
quality of Plaintiff's foreign language translations.
Before relocating to Los Angeles, Plaintiff received feedback
that she was seen by co-workers as difficult, negative,
argumentative, and not collaborative.
following are the issues of law to be ...