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French union files complaint against Ubisoft for creating system of harassment

French worker union Solidaires Informatique has filed a complaint against Ubisoft and some of its current and former employees for creating and perpetuating a toxic workplace culture.

French worker union Solidaires Informatique has filed a complaint against Ubisoft and some of its current and former employees for creating a workplace culture that enabled "institutional sexual harassment."

As reported by Kotaku, which received a translated statement from a union member, the complaint has been filed with the Bobigny criminal court on behalf of Solidaires Informatique and two former Ubisoft workers. 

It targets Ubisoft as a legal entity for "maintaining and reinforcing a system where sexual harassment is tolerated because it is more profitable for the company to keep harassers in place than to protect its employees."

The complaint also calls out former employees including editorial vice president Tommy Francois, who was terminated with cause in August 2020 following a misconduct investigation, and other executives like Cecile Cornet and Serge Hascoet, both of whom resigned in July 2020 after facing accusations that aligned with their respective positions. 

Current Ubisoft chief exec and co-founder Yves Guillemot is name-checked in the complaint for allegedly turning a blind eye and allowing abusers to operate with impunity. "We believe that as a manager, he was necessarily informed," said Maude Beckers, the lawyer representing the victims behind the complaint. "He must answer for the company's HR policy."

Commenting on the complaint, Ubisoft told Kotaku that it doesn't have any "further details" at this time. Under two weeks ago, however, the Assassin's Creed publisher indicated that the "occurrence of inappropriate behavior by employees" could impact its ability to hire and retain staff

In an extensive report published last year that was based on the testimonies of over a dozen former and current Ubisoft employees, Gamasutra found that the allegations of abuse ran deep at the French company, suggesting those in high-profile roles had allowed a system of misconduct to take root and flourish. 

Although Ubisoft has taken steps to address its toxic workplace culture, including the creation of a five point plan designed to protect employees moving forward, some of those accused of misconduct have simply been given new roles in the company.

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