A former HR anager has sued Destiny 2 developer Bungie, alleging wrongful termination after she reported racial discrimination to higher-ups.
According to a report from IGN, plaintiff Ingrid Alm filed a complaint with the state of Washington earlier in 2023. She was hired in May 2022 as an HR manager. A few months later, she was asked to investigate the performance a specific employee, referred to as "James Smith." When she interviewed Smith, he allegedly claimed he was being unfairly targeted as the only Black member of a 50-person team. Alm reportedly shared the concern with her supervisor and recommended that Smith's supervisor receive diversity training.
Purportedly, Alm's recommendation was approached with "hostility and denial." Alm's supervisor rejected her proposal, citing the seniority of the employees Alm recommended receive training. According to Alm, Bungie then recommended the termination of Smith's employment. Alm remained concerned, stating the termination would be racially biased. In September, she reached out to Bungie's director of equity and inclusion, Dr. Courtney Benjamin, who recommended Smith receive a written warning instead.
Alm alleges her supervisor became angry after she reached out to Benjamin and sent a written warning to Alm via email. Later in September, Alm received a "needs improvement" marker in a company review, despite prior excellent marks. Alm's supervisor allegedly advised she look for an exit from the job. Shortly after, Alm attempted to log in and found she had been locked out of Bungie's systems. She emailed her supervisor, but received no response for many days. Alm then allegedly received a message claiming her resignation had been accepted, though Alm claims she never resigned.
Alm's suit alleges retaliation and wrongful termination, and asks for compensation for lost current and future wages, emotional distress, and attorney fees. According to IGN's report, Bungie's reply to Alm's complaint is brief and denies all of her allegations, but does not address any of the specifics. A jury trial is planned to take place on January 24, 2024. Fox Rothchild lawyer Mary DePaolo Haddad will represent Bungie. GameSpot reached out to Bungie for comment and has not yet received a response.
In 2021, another IGN report, based on interviews with current and former employees, alleged a culture of sexism, racism, and crunch at Bungie. A statement from Bungie CEO Pete Parsons emphasized the changes the company has made and acknowledged there was still work to do.