Bungie‘s former HR manager is suing the company, claiming she was wrongfully dismissed after raising a potential case of racial discrimination.
As reported by IGN, Ingrid Alm joined Bungie as HR manager in May 2022, and says she was asked a few months later to investigate the performance of an employee, named in the lawsuit as ‘James Smith’.
According to Alm, Smith told her that he was the only Black employee in a team of 50, and felt he was being singled out by his supervisor because of his race.
Alm reportedly told the employee’s supervisor this and recommended that they and some other employees should take diversity training, but this was rejected on the grounds that the employees “had been there for a long time” and were “highly regarded”.
Alm then claims that Bungie recommended Smith’s contract be terminated, to which Alm disagreed, saying this would be racial bias.
It’s then claimed that Alm sought advice from Dr Courtney Benjamin, Bungie’s director of equity and inclusion, who advised that Smith should get a written warning instead, because terminating him would be “too risky considering the evidence”.
Alm says her supervisor was “extremely angry” at her for talking to Benjamin, and gave her a written warning, before contacting Benjamin to apologise for Alm talking to her.
Later that month, Alm was reportedly placed in the “needs improvement” category during a review, with her supervisor recommending she look for a way to leave.
Shortly after this, Alm says her email and Bungie platform access was cut off, after which she was told her resignation had been accepted, even though she didn’t resign.
According to IGN, Bungie’s response simply denies Alm’s story, but doesn’t provide any extra context or an alternative timeline of events.
Notably, Alm was hired at Bungie five months following an IGN report on the company’s work culture, in which employees alleged the company had a history of allowing toxic culture to fester, including racial and gender bias.