The State of California has filed a lawsuit at game company Activision Blizzard over allegations of sexual assault, bullying, and “frat boy” culture.
After a two-year investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the state has sued the gaming company after the allegations came to light, according to a report by media outlet Bloomberg Law.
According to the lawsuit, the victims are the female employees of the gaming company, who are 20 percent of the workforce. It is said that they are victims of discrimination in terms of sexual harassment, unequal pay, retaliation, and bullying.
The investigation started due to a certain report of one female employee that took her own life as a result of sexual harassment. This happened after a trip with her male supervisor. Before this happened, there were inappropriate images of her that shared publicly in the game studio at a holiday party.
It was also uncovered from the investigation that the male employees at Activision Blizzard drank alcohol at work “while delegating their responsibilities to female employees.” Yes, they were just getting drunk while they gave away important duties that they were supposed to do to their female coworkers.
Some of the men would even joke about rape, chat about their sexual encounters, and discuss about female bodies.
The investigation discovered that the leaders of the company have failed many times to take steps to prevent such discrimination from happening. What happens now is that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing wants an injunction that would force compliance with workplace protections, unpaid wages, pay adjustments, back pay, and lost wages and benefits for female employees.
Activision Blizzard has recently given their own statement, acknowledged the investigation, but has denied the allegations.
We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is 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 related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.
The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived.
The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today.
No word yet on what happens next after the State of California has filed the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.