A former Nintendo of America employee has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing Nintendo of terminating their employment due to their involvement with a union.
The specific charge, as first reported by Axios, is levied against both Nintendo of America and recruiting firm Aston Carter, which hires contractors for various administrative and customer support roles at Nintendo. It alleges that the employee was terminated from their role due to activities connected with unionization – either joining or supporting a union, and participating in other activities such as discussing their wages and terms of employment. The complaint also accuses Nintendo of "engaging in surveillance" of union activities.
Through the NLRB, employees are protected from retaliation or termination for participating in union activities or otherwise organizing. With the complaint now filed, the next step is for the NLRB to investigate the termination to determine if it was, as is claimed, illegal and related to unionization.
In a statement shared with Polygon, Nintendo confirmed the employee in question was terminated but asserts it was not due to organization:
"We are aware of the claim, which was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a contractor who was previously terminated for the disclosure of confidential information and for no other reason," the statement reads. "Nintendo is not aware of any attempts to unionize or related activity and intends to cooperate with the investigation conducted by the NLRB.
"Nintendo is fully committed to providing a welcoming and supportive work environment for all our employees and contractors. We take matters of employment very seriously."
The NLRB has been increasingly involved in video game companies' activities lately as organization efforts continue to crop up across the industry. Just today, Apple workers in Georgia filed a petition with the NLRB to form a union. And last year, Activision Blizzard workers filed a complaint with the NLRB accusing their employers of union-busting and intimidation, and subsidiary Raven Software ultimately formed its own union. Their organizing efforts came following an ongoing series of lawsuits and accusations against the company going back to last July, beginning with a California suit accusing the company of a frat boy culture, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and more.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.