Jamie Durrant has been working for Lionhead Studios, stomping ground of Peter Molyneux
and developer of the Fable
franchise, for 11 years. In his time, he's worked on the Black & White
series as well as both of the Fable
games. As of last August though, Mr. Durrant has been out of work "sick" on half-pay, claiming sexual discrimination on the part of Microsoft. "I have been signed off sick since August with anxiety and depression," Durrant told us this morning.
The Surrey, UK resident is suing his employer, Microsoft (owner of Lionhead Studios
), for £45,000/$66,000, money which will make up for "lost earnings and injury to feelings," according to the report on Telegraph.co.uk
. A variety of names, laden with derogatory terms, were purportedly circulated in Durrant's tenure with the company as of late, referencing his sexual orientation: "'I'm Jim and I'm Gay," "Me and My Favourite Men," and "Ladies Are Bad," among others.
According to Durrant, when these abuses were reported to the Microsoft human resources department, the company did little to help him, apparently telling him they would circulate an email reminding employees of the company policy -- but they never followed through. When he inquired as to why it hadn't been sent a few weeks later, he was supposedly told that Microsoft would have to draft policy on the matter first. He told the Telegraph, "I was very surprised that Microsoft did not have any policies relating to this sexual orientation harassment." Less than a month ago we found out that the Microsoft Xbox Live team also have little-to-no policy written regarding sexual orientation discrimination
When asked for more information, both Microsoft and Mr. Durrant have said they cannot comment on the still pending litigation. We'll have to wait until the London South Employment Tribunal hears his case "later this year" for more info.