Bungie being sued for retaliation and wrongful termination by former HR manager

Bungie Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Racial Discrimination

Bungie, the developer of Destiny 2, is currently facing a lawsuit filed by a former HR manager who claims she was wrongfully terminated after reporting a case of racial discrimination to her supervisors. Ingrid Alm, who joined Bungie in May 2022, filed a complaint earlier this year in the state of Washington, alleging retaliation and wrongful termination. According to court documents, Alm was asked to investigate a Black employee, referred to as “James Smith,” who expressed concerns of racial targeting by his supervisor.

Retaliation and Allegations of Wrongful Termination

Alm claims that after recommending diversity training for Smith’s supervisor, she faced hostility and denial from her superiors. The studio allegedly defended the supervisor’s actions by stating their long tenure and high regard within the company. Alm disagreed with terminating Smith and sought advice from Bungie’s director of equity and inclusion, Dr. Courtney Benjamin. Benjamin advised against termination, citing insufficient evidence, and instead recommended a written warning.

Increasing Tensions and Resignation Controversy

Following her consultation with Benjamin, Alm states that her own supervisor became furious upon discovering the interaction. In September, Alm claims she was instructed to find an “off-ramp” to leave her job. Shortly after, her email and computer access were revoked without explanation. Alm alleges being informed of her resignation, which she neither gave nor wanted, and was asked to sign a document stating voluntary resignation, which she refused. Her attempts to contact Bungie’s chief people officer, Holly Barbacovi, went unanswered.

Bungie’s Response and Legal Action

IGN reports that Bungie denies all of Alm’s claims in their response, but does not provide an alternative account of events. The studio claims to lack sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief about the allegations’ truth or falsity. Alm is now suing Bungie for retaliation and wrongful termination, seeking compensation for lost wages, damages for emotional distress, and attorney fees. The trial is scheduled to begin on January 22nd, next year.

Previous Allegations Against Bungie

In December 2021, IGN released a report that accused Bungie of “overt sexism, boys’ club culture, crunch, and HR protection of abusers.” Bungie CEO Pete Parsons subsequently issued an apology, and the head of HR resigned a few weeks later.