During the first half of 2022, Nintendo of America has been in the crosshairs of critics and the US National Labor Relations Board thanks to reports and official complaints regarding the working conditions of its contract employees, all brought to light after a reported layoff that allegedly involved pro-union sentiment. In the months since this story went public, Kotaku reporter Sisi Jiang uncovered even more allegations regarding the famed game publisher’s US headquarters, and the allegations fall squarely within sexual harassment and gender inequality.
A wide-ranging report released to Kotaku on Tuesday recounts roughly a decade of internal incidents among NoA’s group of temporary employees, dating back to the “early Wii U era,” backed up by a number of recorded allegations of former Nintendo staff members as well as anonymous reports. The report includes attempts to contact Nintendo of America management, an associated temp agency, and staff members who have been named workplace sexual harassers, but Kotaku says it never received answers to its questions. .
Many of the reported issues revolve around a rift between full-time employees, colloquially referred to as “red badges”, and the rest of the company’s US workforce, which was managed by the recruiting agency temporary Aerotek before this company was absorbed by another company during a recent reorganization. The women who spoke to Kotaku both formally and informally collectively suggest that their hopes of turning part-time status into full-time careers at Nintendo were strained by being female. An unnamed source said ‘your luck was probably worse as a girl’, while another who spoke publicly suggested women weren’t given work-related goals or measures to develop their careers , but essentially needed to increase “face-to-face time”. with male colleagues.
According to the sources, this unclear path to advancement led to issues where women faced sexual harassment at work and then had to ignore it so as not to be perceived as “too sensitive” and have a a clearer path to becoming a red badge, with more stable pay and benefits.
She left the company after being “warned to be less outspoken”.
A former QA tester suggests she found this out the hard way after reporting rude behavior by a male translator in a Microsoft Teams workplace chat room in 2020, which included comments about her favorite Pokemon character to have sex with and his attraction to a clearly underage female character in the free video game Genshin Impact. The employee in question, who spoke anonymously, said she left the company after Aerotek not only failed to act on the report, but also “warned her to ‘be less frank’, while her colleagues understood that she had filed the complaint and ‘blamed her’. “for doing it.