Workplace Discrimination

An Elder Scrolls Online Developer Was Allegedly Denied Health Coverage for Being Trans

In a recently-dropped YouTube video, former Elder Scrolls Online Developer and Bethesda employee Leona Faren claims that her employee health coverage was “held hostage” in an effort to force her out of the company.

In addition to this, Faren shared screenshots and recordings detailing frequent misgendering in the workplace and establishing a clear history of transphobia.

When the time came for Faren to take time off for gender-affirming procedures, the company tried to push her out. Only after taking the complaint to Bethesda HR was Faren given a severance package to cover her healthcare expenses. But the money came at a cost: Faren was placed in a position of having to choose between the money she needed for gender-affirming care, and having the right to sue the company for discrimination.

Now, Faren is speaking out against the company and taking her painful experience public. Like too many trans employees working in corporate climates, Faren was outed at work, disrespected, and made to feel like a liability simply for attempting to access gender-affirming treatment using employee healthcare. When she requested that a public profile picture from pre-transition be updated, she was dismissed and her request was refused. Even after a legal name change, the higher-ups continued to refer to Faren by her deadname.

That wasn’t all: Starting in 2021, Faren was repeatedly locked out of her work accounts, in an alleged attempt to force her to fall behind on projects in the hope that her firing would now have justification. She was excluded from larger projects, told she was a “slow” worker, and ignored by HR. In 2022, she was put under a “performance improvement” plan. Finally, after a hostile campaign to make Faren feel as uncomfortable in the workplace as possible, she was allegedly bullied into accepting the resignation package.

“I signed because I was terrified,” the developer explained. “I wish I didn’t. I wish I wasn’t so scared.”

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