Activision Blizzard has been sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for sex discrimination within the workplace. The company that creates games including World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Call of Duty is accused of getting a “frat boy” culture during which female employees are subjected to harassment, unequal pay, retaliation, and a failure to stop harassment, the lawsuit said. That’s a pointy contrast to how the corporate described itself in its recent report on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments. therein report, Activision Blizzard said that, since 2016, there has been a two-times increase of girls in game development leadership roles. And promotion rates for minorities and non-minorities are equal, and therefore the promotion rate for ladies is slightly above the speed for men.
during a statement (included below), the corporate today said the allegations don’t represent the corporate of today, and it’s taken actions to affect past misconduct. The lawsuit comes after a two-year investigation by the state agency. It said the corporate discriminated against female employees in conditions of employment like compensation, assignment, promotion, and termination. the corporate leadership consistently did not take steps to stop discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, the agency said. In a way, these sorts of allegations are familiar, as Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends and a neighbor of Activision Blizzard in l.
a., also faced charges of harassment against women and had to pay a $10 million settlement in 2019. French computer game publisher Ubisoft also faced numerous #MeToo allegations about harassment within the past year also. The complaint was filed Tuesday within the l. a. court. Women are 20% of the Activision workforce, and are subject to a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture.” That culture allegedly encouraged and tolerated sexual banter jokes about rape, unwanted propositions, and other demeaning behavior, the suit alleged. The suit said a female Activision employee took life while on a corporation trip with a male supervisor. the worker was allegedly subjected to intense harassment before her death, including having nude photos passed around at a corporation holiday party, the complaint said.
The agency asked for an injunction forcing compliance with workplace protections. It also asked the corporate to pay unpaid wages, pay adjustments, provide back pay, and lost wages and benefits for female employees. As of New Year’s Eve, 2020, Activision Blizzard had 9,630 employees, up from 9,234 a year earlier. Women are 24% of the general employees, while underrepresented minorities are 34% of the general base. the corporate said in its own report it’s trying to enhance those ratios, but it’s not dissimilar from the general game industry. the corporate has nine employee networks dedicated to becoming a more inclusive company.
Here’s the response from the company: We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that gives inclusivity to everybody. there’s no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases associated with misconduct, action was taken to deal with the difficulty.
The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. we’ve been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to tell us what issues they perceived. They were required by law to adequately investigate and to possess straightness discussions with us to raised understand and to resolve any claims or concerns before getting to litigation, but they did not do so. Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint, as we’ll demonstrate in court. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to tug into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family. While we discover this behavior to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it’s, unfortunately, an example of how they need to conduct themselves throughout the course of their investigation. it’s this sort of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.
The picture the DFEH paints isn’t the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to deal with company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams. We’ve updated our Code of Conduct to stress a strict non-retaliation focus, amplified internal programs and channels for workers to report violations, including the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. we’ve strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and combined our Employee Networks at a worldwide level, to supply additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for several years.
We put tremendous effort into creating fair and rewarding compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and that we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take a spread of proactive steps to make sure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. for instance, we reward and compensate employees to support their performance, and that we conduct extensive anti-discrimination training including for those that are a part of the compensation process. We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as a civil rights employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and that we are committed to continuing this effort within the years to return. it’s a shame that the DFEH didn’t want to interact with us on what they thought they were seeing in their investigation.