Quantic Dream, the French studio behind Detroit: Become Human, has lost a court case to a former employee over offensive workplace conditions reported earlier this year. The employee is one of several to bring their grievances to court, but the first to actually win.
The offensive conditions in question were exposed back in January. Reporters from three prominent French news sources–Le Monde, Canard PC, and Mediapart– teamed up to interview employees and uncover various instances of toxic behavior at the Quantic Dream offices. A more detailed look at their findings can be found in our coverage at this link.
The most noteworthy stories to come out of the reports were those of offensive jokes taken too far. The interviewed staff members said that they were routinely Photoshopped into inappropriate situations. For instance, their faces would be put on the bodies of adult film stars or Nazi soldiers and the pictures would be put up all around the office. Quantic Dream bosses David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière were allegedly in on the "joke" as well.
Cage's response was to vehemently deny the accusations, and he even went as far as to file a lawsuit against the three media outlets that reported the story.
For now, Cage's court time will be spent against his former employees. Today's result, according to Eurogamer, saw a former employee make use of the prise d'acte employment law. To use the law, an employee must willingly quit on the grounds of misconduct in the workplace. By doing so they give up all rights to things like benefits and severance, but retain the ability to petition for unfair dismissal.
From there, the case must go to an independent labour court. The court decides the legitimacy of the workplace misconduct claim, and if that merits the employee receiving compensation. Two cases brought forward by other Quantic Dream employees were dismissed before getting that far. This case marks the first time the court saw it through and ruled in favor of the employee, although Eurogamer's report doesn't detail what they received.
More of these cases are likely to happen, and it should be interesting to see if this ruling influences what happens going forward.