Microsoft Settles Gay Harassment Suit

Microsoft Settles Gay Harassment Suit

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Microsoft has reached an out of court agreement with Jamie Durrant, the former Lionhead Studios employee who sued the company over allegations that he'd been the victim of long-term abuse due to his sexual orientation.

Durrant had originally sued Microsoft for ₤45,000 ($66,700) for "hurt feelings" and lost wages after 11 years at Lionhead, during which time he suffered abuse which included being called "Fag Boy Jim" and receiving emails making fun of his homosexuality. Durrant said complaints to Microsoft's human resources department went ignored, which he attributed to "the homophobic aspects of the company," and he was later asked to sign an agreement saying he was happy with how the matter was handled and that he wouldn't file a grievance.

The terms of the settlement are confidential but Microsoft described the deal as "amicable," adding that Durrant will no longer be employed by Lionhead. "Microsoft has a longstanding commitment to diversity. We attract, recruit and respect diverse talent and we have included sexual orientation in our anti-discrimination policies for 20 years," the company said in a statement.

"Our efforts have been recognized by a wide range of groups, including the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in its 2009 Corporate Equality Index. We do not tolerate breaches of our code of business conduct and take any complaints extremely seriously," the statement continued. "Throughout this process, those to whom Mr. Durrant brought his concerns have taken them seriously and concrete actions have been taken to address them. Neither Mr. Durrant's sexual orientation nor the nature of his complaint had any bearing on the way it was handled."

Durrant would not comment on the deal.

Source: Pink News, via GamesIndustry

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Y'know, despite myself, I couldn't help grinning at the caption.

I have to ask again: Did he get harashed from Microsoft, or from Lionhead? And if it was Lionhead, was it after Lionhead where bought by Microsoft, or before too?

Doug:
I have to ask again: Did he get harashed from Microsoft, or from Lionhead? And if it was Lionhead, was it after Lionhead where bought by Microsoft, or before too?

Isn't the fact that Microsoft handled the litigation and paid him off kinda indicative that Microsoft owned Lionhead while he was working there?

L.B. Jeffries:

Doug:
I have to ask again: Did he get harashed from Microsoft, or from Lionhead? And if it was Lionhead, was it after Lionhead where bought by Microsoft, or before too?

Isn't the fact that Microsoft handled the litigation and paid him off kinda indicative that Microsoft owned Lionhead while he was working there?

Yes, BUT I'm wondering why the same people (i.e. the Lionhead crew) would suddenly turn homophobic overnight after being bought out by Microsoft.

wait, he was harrassed for 11 years but only sued when microsoft bought the company ?

and why he didnt just quit ?

cathou:
wait, he was harrassed for 11 years but only sued when microsoft bought the company ?

and why he didnt just quit ?

While I find his timing for the 'suing' also a bit curious, he should have to quit his job because he's being harassed for something that has no bearing on his job whatsoever. If he sucked at his job, then I could understand employees saying 'Man Jim, you suck at this.' But he wasn't being bugged about his job performance, but about something that wasn't even related to his job.

Unacceptable.

cathou:
wait, he was harrassed for 11 years but only sued when microsoft bought the company ?

and why he didnt just quit ?

Because harassment is wrong, and the EMPLOYER should suffer. The employee shouldn't have to quit to escape.

And harassment isn't that easy to bring up. I have a few gay friends, and people tend to ignore that kind of harassment, for whatever reason they have.

Hrm, with so much of the story under wraps, and very little details about how it was handled...smells more like a buyoff to keep the press from have a field day on it.

Microsoft, sweeping things under the table...one lawsuit at a time.

Kind of weird for it to be Lionhead who's being homophobic. They've made about the only game I can think of thats taken gay people into account.

cathou:
wait, he was harrassed for 11 years but only sued when microsoft bought the company ?

and why he didnt just quit ?

I can imagine it would be impossible to find a job if where gay and flipped out about every homophobic comment. There are going to be biggets (sp?) where ever you go.

It really very much sounds like he agreed to be fired and get a severance package out of the whole thing, doesn't it? Peculiar way for this to end. And settlements are pretty much an admission of guilt in a case like this, I feel.

look

SomeBritishDude:

I can imagine it would be impossible to find a job if where gay and flipped out about every homophobic comment. There are going to be biggets (sp?) where ever you go.

maybe but i guess if he sued them, it's not just a few comments.

And even if he win, the climate at the job will not be better, and often worst. You are arrassed, complain, if it doesnt work, change job. you can sued after if you wish, but doing it while still work there isnt gonna change things.

i dont think i would have stay 11 years...

sounds like microsoft have paid him off

dogstile:
sounds like microsoft have paid him off

They prefer the word "settlement"

D_987:

dogstile:
sounds like microsoft have paid him off

They prefer the word "settlement"

Same diff

Mephisteus:

D_987:

dogstile:
sounds like microsoft have paid him off

They prefer the word "settlement"

Same diff

actually, its microsoft, he didn't comment because he physically couldn't!

Which one was this again and what about the others accusing MS of discrimination: like that lesbian who was kicked off xbl?

No surprise he's not allowed to talk about it anymore. They must've paid him off a lot.

Mephisteus:

D_987:

dogstile:
sounds like microsoft have paid him off

They prefer the word "settlement"

Same diff

It was a joke...

How much did he make?

I wanna sue for being 'abused' for being straight! Harris Teeter has a definative homosexual bias! Someone call Jerry Fowlwowl

 

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