Publisher Activision Gets Expansion, But Not the Type it Planned On

By Ellen M. Zavian, Esq., Editor-in-Chief, ESL

A California court has expanded the anti-discrimination lawsuit matter, against Activision Blizzard (AB), to include temporary workers to the already group of female full-time employees. If this was not enough, California’s Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) has also alleged AB has actively interfered with its investigation into the anti-discrimination matter.

Expanding the Complaint to redefine the ‘group’ to include this larger group of workers was filed on Monday, August 23, 2021. According to the filed documents, the word ‘employees’ has been changed to ‘workers’ in order to include employees and contingent or temporary workers. 

The ‘interference’ allegations within the amended complaint seems to stem from alleged actions by AB in its attempt to use their executed NDAs, which require the ‘workers’ to first speak with AB before going to DFEH directly. In addition, the amended complaint accuses AB of shredding documents related to the investigations and complaint, by the human resource personnel. Such actions would be in violation of the obligation to retain evidence pending the DFEH’s investigations.

It has been reported by Axios that an AB spokesperson denies all such allegations.

The original complaint filed by DFEH against AB back in July 2021 accused AB of fostering a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” that subjects women to harassment, abuse and lower pay. This filing came after a 2-year investigation by DFEH and a failure to resolve the issues with AB.

Despite AB’s active steps to tackle the issues in the complaint, it is clear this matter is not going away anytime soon.

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