California lawsuit alleges workplace discrimination

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Those who do not follow the video game industry may not be aware that the industry is oftentimes a veritable bullseye for legal scrutiny. Most of the time, this legal action comes in the form of allegations that violent videogames promote violent behavior in youths, or in sexual harassment claims following allegations of a sexist subculture. However, a recent California lawsuit has put at least one video game company under scrutiny for how it allegedly treats its employees.

Back in 2010, Bandai Namco hired a Vietnamese-American in a management position with the company’s financial planning department. The now former employee is suing Bandai Namco’s American branch for wrongful termination and discrimination. According to allegations, the company discriminates regularly against non-Japanese American employees, even going so far as to allege that the company’s former CEO once told him that Americans are stupid.

In addition to an alleged prejudice against Americans simply for being American, the lawsuit also claims the Japanese executive would make rude or derogatory comments about American employees in Japanese, often eliciting obscene laughter. According to the former employee, non-Japanese workers are even excluded from company meetings and dinners. The man claims that he complained about necessary information being withheld from him, and he was told by the company’s HR department to remain silent.

Bandai Namco has yet to comment on the story, but it is a frightening prospect if the allegations are true. Foreign companies are still required to abide by American law if they are operating American branches, and in America, employees are protected from such treatment. If you are being discriminated against at work, or if you have been wrongfully terminated from your position in California, consider meeting with an attorney to discuss your rights and possible courses of action.

Source: GamePolitics, “Former Bandai Namco employee sues over discrimination, wrongful termination,” June 11, 2015