In the Latest Lawsuit, Former HR Manager Accuses Bungie of Wrongful Termination and Racial Bias
Another high-profile gaming studio, Bungie, is facing accusations of creating a hostile working environment after being sued for wrongful termination by a former HR manager. The allegations revolve around racial bias within the company. This news comes just a few months after Bungie successfully won a landmark lawsuit against a racist Destiny player who had been harassing its employees and their families.
Bungie’s former HR manager claims wrongful termination due to reporting racial bias
As reported by IGN, Ingrid Alm, a former HR manager hired by Bungie in 2022, has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging retaliation and wrongful termination. Alm’s accusation stems from her recommendation that a supervisor undergo diversity training. This recommendation was made after a black employee, referred to as “James Smith” in the lawsuit, expressed concerns about racial targeting within the supervisor’s 50-person team.
According to Alm, after issuing the recommendation, she faced resistance and denial from her managers at Bungie. She claims to have encountered hostility in response to her actions.
Alm’s lawsuit further reveals that she faced further hostility after reaching out to Bungie’s director of equity and inclusion, Dr. Courtney Benjamin. The lawsuit states that Alm’s supervisor retaliated against her for contacting Benjamin by issuing a written warning and downgrading Alm’s performance review to the “needs improvement” category. Alm’s access to her work email and Bungie’s internal network was subsequently cut off, and she was informed that her resignation had been accepted, despite her claim that she never submitted one.
Bungie responded to the lawsuit, denying almost all of Alm’s claims without providing additional context. A jury trial is scheduled for January 22, 2024, where the court will determine whether Alm should receive the lost wages, damages for emotional distress, and attorney fees that she is seeking.
Bungie is not the only gaming developer facing accusations of fostering a hostile work environment. In the same week, five former Ubisoft executives were arrested for harassment and sexual assault charges. Furthermore, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is still dealing with backlash for dismissing ongoing harassment claims within his company.