French gambling workers' union sues Ubisoft for "institutional sexual harassment"

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He Solidaires Informatique Union has filed a new lawsuit against Ubisoft in the courts of Bobigny, France, alleging that executives, including CEO Yves Guillemot, enabled and fostered a culture of "institutional sexual harassment" in the company. .

"In June 2020, dozens of social media testimonials emerged, quickly backed up by articles from various outlets (Libération and Numérama in particular), reporting cases of sexual harassment on Ubisoft, with the complacency of the departments of Human Resources, which protected the harassers and silenced the victims, "Solidaires Informatique said in an email.

"On July 15, 2021, Maude Beckers filed a complaint with the Bobigny Criminal Court, representing the Solidaires Informatique union and several victims of the company."

The specific names of the complaint are:

  • Tommy François, former vice president of publishing and creative services at Ubisoft, for allegedly taking advantage of his position to harass several people;
  • Serge Hascoët, former creative director of Ubisoft, for allegedly taking advantage of his position to harass several people and not preventing similar behavior from his subordinates;
  • Assistant to Serge Hascoët, for allegedly taking advantage of his proximity to Mr. Hascoët and harassing several people;
  • Cécile Cornet, former world director of human resources, who allegedly allowed the harassment to thrive in the company;
  • Several unnamed people from the Human Resources Department for "having actively participated in the concealment and concealment of the harasser's actions";
  • Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, not for any specific complaint, but because "as CEO, he is responsible for what happens in the company."

“More importantly, the complaint is directed at Ubisoft as a company for institutional sexual harassment,” the union said. "To establish, maintain and strengthen a system where sexual harassment is tolerated, as keeping harassers in place is considered more profitable for the company than protecting employees. This harassment, tolerated and carried out by "The company's top levels, protected by the Human Resources departments, have created a system for the entire company. Beyond the list of people mentioned above, this action aims to dismantle the dynamics of this system."

François, Hascoët and Cornet are no longer with Ubisoft: all three he left the company last year amid allegations of misconduct and abuse. Yannis Mallat, Ubisoft's director general of Canadian studies, and Ubisoft vice president Maxime Beland also resigned from the company over similar complaints. Guillemot apologized for the September 2020 abuses, but was not responsible.

In recent months, Guillemot has promoted leadership changes at the company to make Ubisoft "an exemplary job in the technology industry." Not everyone is convinced that things are really changing, or that Guillemot has the ability to make it a reality. A May report from Le Télégramme said some employees did not believe significant changes were being made, prompting the hashtag #holdubisoftaccountable on Twitter. The report also said the union was planning class action lawsuits against Ubisoft, presumably a reference to the complaint.

A representative of Solidaires Informatique said the union is filing the complaint now because it took about a year to gather evidence and testimonies and gathered the case.

"Institutional sexual harassment is a charge rarely seen in French courts and the lawyer, Maude Beckers, wanted to have the strongest possible complaint," the representative said. "However, we consider that the changes made by Ubisoft are superficial … The situation inside has not changed much, and we hope that the evolution of the case will continue to draw attention to its evolution and continue to pressure Ubisoft to stick to its promises. "

Solidaires Informatique invited other potential complainants to join the action, "to testify or file a complaint". In response to a query about the new complaint, an Ubisoft representative provided a link to the company. Updated May 2021 detailing the changes to the company in response to allegations of misconduct, but beyond that he only said that "we have no further details on the claim filed against Ubisoft."

Thanks, Kotaku.

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