What is with the Xbox community and homophobia? This is at least the third time the company has had to publicly deal with sexual discrimination only this time it’s in the workplace. Jamie Durrant, a Xbox 360 game designer for Lionhead Studios, has allegedly been branded “Fag Boy Jim” around the office and is suing Microsoft for £45,000 for hurt feelings and lost pay after losing seven months of work due to depression.
Durrant’s story begins after e-mails with subject headings such as “I’m Jim and I’m Gay” and “Me and My Favourite Men” were circulated around the office. Durrant went to the heads of the human resources department and complained but was told the company did not have policies in place to deal with this kind of situation. They suggested Durrant not make a formal complaint and instead agree to the sending of an e-mail that would remind employees how to properly behave in the workplace. Unfortunately that e-mail was never sent because Microsoft still hadn’t created a new policy several months later. Microsoft then asked Durrant to sign a document stating he would not file a formal grievance (again) and that he was satisfied with how the company was handling the matter. This time Durrant refused to comply and says by that time another hurtful message was put up in the staff kitchen.
Durrant feels the HR department shrugged him off and didn’t take his problem seriously. That’s when he decided to go ahead with a lawsuit. Microsoft has not yet commented on this situation.