September 19, 2021

Activision Blizzard lawsuit: California sues video game developer, alleging culture of sexual harassment

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — California’s Division of Truthful Employment and Housing filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday in opposition to one of America’s largest video game builders Activision Blizzard, alleging a number of feminine workers have been subjected to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay.

“DFEH alleges that women were subjected to constant sexual harassment, including groping, comments, and advances,” the state company mentioned in a press launch. “The lawsuit also alleges that the company’s executives and human resources personnel knew of the harassment and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the unlawful conduct, and instead retaliated against women who complained.”

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard, the corporate recognized for creating standard video games together with “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” advised CNN they’re taking the allegations severely and have launched inside investigations for all claims.

“We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone,” mentioned Kelvin Liu, Director of Company Communications at Activision Blizzard. “There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind.”

California’s lawsuit contradicts the corporate’s claims, alleging Activision Blizzard fostered a “frat boy” work culture the place feminine workers should “continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male coworkers,” the submitting says.

Liu advised CNN motion has been taken to deal with previous points involving instances of misconduct, blasting the state’s submitting and investigation as “inaccurate” and “distorted.”

“The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today,” Liu mentioned. “Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams.”

The state, nonetheless, alleges in its lawsuit Activision Blizzard maintains a management staff held completely by white males with few ladies in high roles. DFEH additionally claims feminine workers obtain decrease beginning pay and are promoted extra slowly than their male counterparts.

The gaming firm advised CNN they’ve strived to pay all workers pretty and have additionally enhanced inside applications to create channels for workers to report violations.

“We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come,” Liu mentioned.

Activision Blizzard is a number one gaming platform headquartered in Santa Monica, California with roughly 9,500 complete workers and over 100 million gamers worldwide, the submitting mentioned.

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