Nintendo has been hit with a labor complaint through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from an unnamed individual claiming their right to unionize was violated by the game-maker and its associated staffing agency in Redmond, Washington. The news was first reported on Tuesday by Axios.
The complaint is thin on details at the moment, but it lists Nintendo's U.S. division and staffing firm Aston Carter as the charged parties. The allegations in broad terms involve violations of the National Labor Relations Act, including rules around unfair labor practices such as "layoff and refusal to hire"; "coercive statements" including "threats, promises of benefits, etc."; "retaliation, discharge, discipline"; and "coercive actions" including "surveillance."
The complaint was filed last week on April 15, and the concrete specifics of the case are currently not available unless specifically requested through the Freedom of Information Act. The complaint makes Nintendo just the latest video game company to face charges of unfair treatment, as part of a wider industry reckoning around workplace discrimination, sexism and labor practices in the game industry.
Activision Blizzard is the most high-profile of the companies currently embroiled in such disputes and lawsuits. The publisher settled a sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation lawsuit with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this year, but it still faces numerous lawsuits from the state of California, investors and former employees over its treatment of workers and the actions of its executive leadership.
The situation at Activision Blizzard and the company's initial defensive response to allegations of worker treatment have sparked a unionization push within the company, including at subsidiary Raven Software, where workers in the quality assurance division voted to unionize last December. The NLRB is also overseeing a dispute between Raven employees and Activision management over the scope of the proposed union, which the game publisher refused to recognize.