Activision Blizzard was accused of discriminating against employees based on gender. According to the lawsuit, the company intentionally does not promote women in the service and understates their salaries. They complain about harassment and compare the atmosphere at work with the atmosphere of a fraternity. However, the company itself denies such accusations.The lawsuit was filed on July 20 in Los Angeles Superior Court following a two-year investigation.

The plaintiff in the case was the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

The main claims against Activision BlizzardWomen make up 20% of the company’s staff, and they regularly face discrimination and various forms of humiliation.

  • For example, male employees can play video games at work, delegating their responsibilities to girls.It follows from the lawsuit that Activision Blizzard has formed a fraternity culture.
  • This also means that drunk men can harass female colleagues without fear of consequences.Women are often denied promotion due to the fact that they may later become pregnant.
  • Also, Activision Blizzard sometimes does not promote women to positions, even if they had more experience and competence compared to male colleagues.Some employees are criticized when they are forced to leave work early to pick up children from kindergarten.
  • Sometimes women are kicked out of the feeding rooms to hold meetings there.The lawsuit mentions one employee who committed suicide during a business trip with her male supervisor.
  • Before that, she was sexually harassed, and at one of the parties, employees passed each other nude photos of her.In early 2019, one of the employees wrote a direct appeal to Activision Blizzard President Jay Allen Brack.
  • She claimed that colleagues were leaving the company because of sexism and harassment. For example, the girls from the team who do not belong to the category of hardcore players, were not accepted by male colleagues and considered them outsiders.The former creative director of World of Warcraft had a tradition: at every BlizzCon, he so zealously molested employees that he had to be dragged away from them.
  • However, each time he got off with only small comments from the management.One of the technical directors of Activision (his name is not mentioned in the lawsuit) repeatedly molested drunk girls at corporate parties.
  • At the same time, he hired employees to the company based on their appearance.The plaintiffs are demanding an injunction against Activision Blizzard requiring compliance with workplace safety.
  • The company is also required to reimburse employees for unpaid wages, debts and pay other benefits.Activision Blizzard’s Response

In an official statement, the company noted that it stands for inclusivity and does not accept discrimination and harassment in any form.

  • “The lawsuit mentions distorted and in many cases false descriptions of Blizzard’s past practices.
  • We have worked closely with DFEH throughout the investigation, providing them with extensive data and documentation, but they have not informed us of the problems found,” the statement said.Activision Blizzard also stressed that the mention of an employee who committed suicide in the lawsuit is highly unprofessional and reprehensible.
  • According to the company, this is irrelevant and simply disrespectful to her family.The statement says that the picture of events provided by DFEH does not reflect the modern working culture of Activision Blizzard.
  • The company notes that since the beginning of the investigation, it has taken many steps to combat harassment, created channels for reporting violations and made its management staff more diverse.Activision Blizzard claims that it raises employees solely on the basis of their performance, conducts anti-harassment trainings and tries to pay fairly for the work of all employees.
  • In June, Activision Blizzard also reported that it had doubled the number of women in leadership positions since 2016.

The company also noted that representatives of minorities have equal opportunities for career growth with other employees.