Lawsuit Document Against Activision Blizzard Details A Long History Of Harassment And Discrimination

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed a lawsuit towards Activision Blizzard after years of investigation. The motive for the swimsuit facilities round “violations of the state’s civil rights and equal pay legal guidelines,” particularly concerning the remedy of ladies and different marginalized teams. 

Content warning for graphic conversations concerning sexual misconduct, abuse, and suicide. 

The investigation has been occurring for over two years, and as Bloomberg studies, the lawsuit fees that the surroundings inside Activision Blizzard hosts a “frat boy” tradition. The studio can also be being referred to as a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.” The report is graphic at occasions, recounting purported incidents that scale from extra informal discrimination all the way in which as much as sexual assault and harassment. The lawsuit goes as far as to state that sure actions led to the suicide of 1 developer following a visit together with her supervisor.

As detailed within the lawsuit paperwork discovered here, the report alleges that Activision Blizzard has many ladies keeping off “unwanted sexual comments” and “being groped” throughout what’s being referred to as a dice crawl: 

In the workplace, ladies are subjected to ‘dice crawls’ wherein male workers drink copious quantities of alcohol as they ‘crawl’ their manner by varied cubicles within the workplace and infrequently have interaction in inappropriate conduct towards feminine workers. Male workers proudly come into work hungover, play video video games for lengthy durations of time throughout work whereas delegating their obligations to feminine workers, have interaction in banter about their sexual encounters, discuss brazenly about feminine our bodies, and joke about rape.

According to the report, sexual harassment and misconduct even resulted in a single girl committing suicide throughout a piece journey together with her supervisor, who reportedly introduced “butt plugs and lubricant” in hopes of coercing her into undesirable relations.

As is more and more widespread with studies like these, the report claims that many makes an attempt had been made to speak to HR for any type of decision and go up the chain of command for help. “Employees were further discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel was known to be close to alleged harassers,” reads the lawsuit paperwork. “As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units, and selected for layoffs.”

Also included within the lawsuit is the pay hole between male and female co-workers, which alleges that many women are supplied an analogous position as a male counterpart at a a lot decrease compensation price. The swimsuit additionally particulars alternatives that had been seen as primarily going to males first, stifling progressive progress inside the firm’s infrastructure. The paperwork additionally report that lots of the ladies underneath the Activision Blizzard umbrella felt they wanted to work tougher and longer than their male counterparts for an opportunity on the identical alternatives. The lawsuit particulars particular examples of this, which will be discovered here

Game Informer reached out to an Activision Blizzard spokesperson concerning the lawsuit, they usually responded with the next assertion: 

We worth range and attempt to foster a office that gives inclusivity for everybody. There is not any place in our firm or trade, or any trade, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any sort. We take each allegation severely and examine all claims. In instances associated to misconduct, motion was taken to deal with the difficulty. 

The DFEH contains distorted, and in lots of instances false, descriptions of Blizzard’s previous. We have been extraordinarily cooperative with the DFEH all through their investigation, together with offering them with in depth knowledge and ample documentation, however they refused to tell us what points they perceived.  They had been required by regulation to adequately examine and to have good religion discussions with us to raised perceive and to resolve any claims or issues earlier than going to litigation, however they failed to take action.  Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate grievance, as we’ll show in courtroom. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to tug into the grievance the tragic suicide of an worker whose passing has no bearing in anyway on this case and with no regard for her grieving household.  While we discover this conduct to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it’s, sadly, an instance of how they’ve performed themselves all through the course of their investigation. It is such a irresponsible conduct from unaccountable State bureaucrats which can be driving lots of the State’s finest companies out of California. 

The image the DFEH paints isn’t the Blizzard office of at the moment. Over the previous a number of years and persevering with for the reason that preliminary investigation began, we’ve made important adjustments to deal with firm tradition and replicate extra range inside our management groups. We’ve amplified inner packages and channels for workers to report violations, together with the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and launched an Employee Relations group devoted to investigating worker issues. We have strengthened our dedication to range, fairness, and inclusion and mixed our Employee Networks at a world stage to offer extra assist. Employees should additionally endure common anti-harassment coaching and have finished so for a few years. 

We put great effort into creating honest and rewarding compensation packages and insurance policies that replicate our tradition and enterprise, and we attempt to pay all workers pretty for equal or considerably comparable work. We take a wide range of proactive steps to make sure that pay is pushed by non-discriminatory elements. For instance, we reward and compensate workers primarily based on their efficiency, and we conduct in depth anti-discrimination coaching, together with for individuals who are a part of the compensation course of. 

We are assured in our potential to show our practices as an equal alternative employer that fosters a supportive, various, and inclusive office for our folks, and we’re dedicated to persevering with this effort within the years to come back. It is a disgrace that the DFEH didn’t wish to have interaction with us on what they thought they had been seeing of their investigation.

To learn the complete report, you’ll be able to be taught extra concerning the ongoing lawsuit from Bloomberg here, together with private retellings from numerous sources inside the firm. 

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