In a leaked internal memo, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has told employees that the company is “actively investigating” allegations of workplace misconduct.
“We have strict policies designed to protect our employees and associates from inappropriate conduct and expect full compliance with these policies by all who work for or with us,” Bowser writes in a message intended for employees, as obtained by Kotaku (opens in new tab). “We have and will always investigate any allegations we become aware of, and we are actively investigating these most recent claims.”
In the message, Bowser encourages employees who have witnessed misconduct to “please immediately contact your HR Business Partner.”
Yesterday, Kotaku published a report (opens in new tab) covering a number of allegations of sexual harassment at Nintendo of America over the past decade. One person the outlet interviewed spoke about inappropriate jokes shared in a company Slack channel. Others mentioned the lead of the product testing department making inappropriate advances toward female testers. Still others reported an incident between 2011 and 2012 where a contractor was allegedly stalked by a more senior member of the testing department.
Many of these allegations focus on workers under a contracting company called Aston Carter who work (or worked) through that company at Nintendo of America’s Redmond, Washington headquarters, though some reports do implicate employees directly under NOA. Kotaku also published a separate reports (opens in new tab) earlier this year alleging poor working conditions for Aston Carter employees at Nintendo.
Nintendo has not directly responded to the specific allegations in either report, though Bowser issued a similar statement in response to the last one, as well.
Multiple complaints have been filed against Nintendo and Aston Carter through the National Labor Relations Board this year, alleging that the companies established “coercive rules” and took retaliatory policies against employees. The actual complaint is vague about the details, but a report from Axios (opens in new tab) notes that this sort of language is common in complaints related to anti-union efforts.
The Activision Blizzard lawsuit has been the largest of many legal actions regarding discrimination and harassment in the game industry over the past several years.