The Paris Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a former Quantic Dream employee who filed for an unfair dismissal from the company in 2017 after she reported that inappropriate Photoshop images were distributed by employees within Quantic Dream. Quantic Dream originally fired the employee for gross misconduct, but later reclassified it as a termination for a serious reason during a 2018 trial. Quantic Dream lost that lawsuit, and the ex-employee in question filed for an unjustified dismissal.
Thanks to the work of the French trade union Solidaires Informatique, which provided legal support to previously discriminated employees at Ubisoft, the former Quantic Dream employee won the unjustified dismissal case on October 6, 2021. The case describes a rather harrowing story of abuse and sexual harassment at Quantic Dream that first came to light in January 2018. Sources detailed how Studio founder David Cage called for long working hours from employees as well as his history of homophobic and racist statements. Founders David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière recently personally won a defamation case against a French publication for reporting the matter, but the two Quantic Dream cases were both unsuccessful.
In the case of misconduct in question, an employee representative spread derogatory images of employees within the company that were eventually leaked. An example was the picture of a female employee with the caption “All women are born equal, but the best become accountants”, but the word “accountant” has been crossed out and replaced with “whore”. The same employee representative later asked the former employee to sign a form stating that the “work of art” would not offend her, which she refused.
A few weeks later, the employee was called in for an assessment. The employee representative accused her of aggressive behavior and mistakes in the workplace – particularly the scanning of documents in connection with the dismissal of Quantic Dream’s co-CEO, Guillaume de Fondaumière. However, the court dismissed the allegations, stating that the former employee’s actions were justified because she was a management assistant whose job it was – surprisingly, surprisingly – to copy paperwork and accounting information.
The ex-employee said of the verdict:
After years of proceedings, complaints, harassment, finally a decision that recovers the facts. I am relieved and proud to be able to stand up to what could be described as disloyal, dishonest, and intimidating. Nobody is above the law. Good luck and be at peace with your conscience. Everything is better here. Your.
The video game industry continues to experience a major shift in workers’ rights as employees of various companies struggle against discrimination and harassment.[Source: Solidaires Informatique]