California Sues Activision Blizzard Over “Sexist Culture” and “Sexual Harassment”.
The case was filed after a two-year-long investigation that revealed sexual harassment and discrimination towards female employees. The investigation also revealed discrimination against pregnant women, unequal pay, and retaliation.
There were allegations of the same nature made against Activision Blizzard in the past. However, the company addressed those allegations by saying that “action has been taken” against work-related issues. Activision also labeled those allegations as fabricated, and false and reiterated that it values diversification and all-inclusiveness.
DFEH made its findings clear in June and tried to resolve issues via mediation without litigation. However, three sessions of mediation didn’t yield any results which resulted in the lawsuit.
The case further states that Activision Blizzard “fostered a sexist culture” and the pay gap discrepancy between male and female employees is evident. It also sheds light on the lack of women in leadership roles, and what sort of difficulties women face to attain promotion.
Activision Blizzard responded by denying the allegations and saying that the “picture” DFEH painted in the suit is not “the Blizzard workplace of today.” The company has changed a lot and introduced anti-harassment training, anonymous complaint method, and performance-based compensations.
On the other hand, DFEH is adamant and seeks punitive measures, penalties, injunctive relief, and compensatory damages for all the female workforce in the company. The agency further added that women were “subjected to cube crawls” which involves drunk male employees crawling to female employee cubicles and get involved in inappropriate behavior.