August 8, 2022

Bethesda staff upset over studio response to abortion discussions

Bethesda staff upset over studio response to abortion discussions

Some astronauts look into space.

picture: X-Box

In the wake of Raw vs. Wade Last week, many employees at . were dismissed Skyrim Its manufacturer Bethesda Game Studios and its parent company ZeniMax Media are increasingly disappointed by what they see as the employer’s apparent unwillingness to support employee access to reproductive health care. This is a particularly pressing issue for many starfield And the Redvale Developers who reside in states like Texas that have strict anti-abortion legislation on the books. These tensions steadily increased as heated discussions took place in the company’s Slack channels and management communications failed to directly address employee concerns and demands.

While some employees put pressure on management to unequivocally comply with things like supporting employee relocation in severely affected states, it’s no surprise that some in the company also support the court’s decision, contributing to the internal tensions that have sometimes run rampant at Slack. A Bethesda employee caused a major controversy in Slack’s work when he published eight vociferous anti-abortion paragraphs. He wrote: “I am appalled by the constant screaming for the ‘right’ to kill one’s relatives.” “Human rights are not violated in the heart of Roe v. Wade, but are restored to those who cannot speak for themselves.” The letter included eleven quotes from the Bible. Kotaku Get screenshots of this post from the company-wide Slack channel. Eventually the manager of Bethesda removed the post and closed the thread, telling employees to keep politics and religion out of the “water cooler” channel.

The incident occurred during a tense period when many women in the company were already feeling unsupported by what they considered Drops The publisher’s unwillingness to take a clear and principled position on reproductive rights. It hits very close to home for many employees since ZeniMax Media has a large presence in Texas. Bethesda Austin and The Pillars of Austin – Where’s the Vampire Shooter Redvale Developed – Headquartered outside the state capital, Software ID is located in a suburb north of Dallas. Employees working outside of Texas will be subject to additional “launching laws” this summer, which will be subject to Ban all abortions From the moment of fertilization.

Microsoft, which acquired Bethesda last year, Already announced It will provide travel expense assistance for employees who want to have an abortion. However, a former employee of ZeniMax said he worked for the company after the acquisition Kotaku Microsoft and ZeniMax treat benefits completely separately, and therefore, these Microsoft policies do not apply to employees at ZeniMax. They said, “When it became clear that Microsoft wasn’t accommodating us under its umbrella, a lot of people quit.”

Although the Supreme Court ruling was only officially released last week, employees have been preparing for it, and taking action on it, for some time. Sensing the impact the decision could have on employees in Texas and elsewhere, members of the Bethesda Women’s Employee Resource Group sent a letter to ZeniMax leadership after the Supreme Court opinion draft pointing to Raw vs. Wade It will be overturned for the first time it was leaked to the public seven weeks ago.

“With reproductive rights under full attack in the United States, the lack of response from ZeniMax leadership has been deafening. At the time of this writing, six calendar days have passed since the intent to bring down Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public,” the email said. The email indicated that the company had previously made internal efforts to support employees during this process Black Lives Matter MovementAnd the Pride Month in 2021, and communicated with the interior during the invasion of Ukraine. “As more ZeniMax employees are under threat, many of us are demanding to know whether or not our employer will stand with us, competitors graduated in the support For their workers, the company’s silence remains unjustified and goes against the company’s stated values.”

Nearly two months after the group requested recognition, the official Bethesda Twitter account finally posted on Friday:

However, many employees were disappointed with how the statement was worded. “Lifestyle” is a word that many gays find delegitimizing, as it implies that a person’s sexual identity or sexuality is merely a matter of choice. Several gay employees at ZeniMax studios expressed frustration that their employer made their struggle a personal choice, prompting Jimmy Leader, ZeniMax’s COO, to email an apology about the word choice on the same day. (Kotaku He was able to obtain a copy of his emails.) “I would like to apologize for any wrongdoing that resulted from previous contact and assure you that we will continue to protect our employees’ choices and critical healthcare access as we move forward,” the email said.

Despite Lieder’s comments intended to “reassure” employees about the company’s position on reproductive health care, employees remain frustrated by what they see as an unwillingness to be clear and specific in its commitments. The Female Employee Resource Group had previously called for ZeniMax to legalize contraceptive access across the company’s health plans, ensure that pregnant female employees are not discriminated against, negotiate employee relocations in affected states like Texas, and accommodate employees in accordance with their local state laws. Three of the four applications were not addressed by e-mail.

A separate previous email sent by Leder noted that the company was trying to “have ongoing discussions with a US healthcare provider about enhancing our benefits for those who may have to travel for medical services,” but did not provide details on specific provisions for affected employees. Kotaku I reached out to ask about the specific steps the company will take to ensure reproductive healthcare, but had not received a response by press time.

According to a current Bethesda employee, most employees support abortion rights. However, some are unhappy that this support and concern for marginalized employees and how they will be affected by the court’s decision does not appear to be reflected by the management of Bethesda and ZeniMax. “We eagerly waited on Friday for the studios to release a statement where the other studios beat us out. [punch] several hours.”