California expands Activision Blizzard lawsuit to include temporary workers


The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has expanded the scope of its sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit in opposition to Activision Blizzard to include temporary workers. As first reported by Axios, the watchdog filed an amended grievance on Monday to redefine the group it plans to symbolize within the go well with. The grievance now constantly references “workers” as a substitute of “employees,” noting protections the state of California has in place to shield people from harassment and sexual discrimintation “exist for employees and contingent or temporary workers.”

The amended go well with additionally alleges Activision Blizzard has used non-disclosure agreements to instantly intervene with DFEH’s means to examine, prosecute and treatment the office violations that occurred on the firm. Additionally, “documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel,” in accordance to the company.

In response to in the present day’s submitting, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson informed Engadget, “Throughout our engagement with the DFEH, we have complied with every proper request in support of its review even as we had been implementing reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee. …We strive to be a company that recognizes and celebrates the diverse talents and perspectives that lead to the creation of great, globally appealing entertainment. The assertion is offered in full on the finish of the article.

Following a two-year investigation into the corporate, DFEH final month accused Activision Blizzard executives of fostering a “frat boy” workplace culture. According to the company, solely 20 p.c of all workers on the studio are ladies, they usually’re constantly paid much less, neglected for promotions and fired quicker than their male counterparts. Activision executives initially dismissed the lawsuit, claiming it included “distorted, and in many cases false descriptions of Blizzard’s past.”

Employees had been fast to condemn the corporate’s response, calling it “abhorrent,” they usually went on to stage a walkout on the finish of July. Following the protest, Blizzard studio president J. Allen Brack, one of many executives named within the DFEH go well with, stepped down, as did several other senior designers.

When Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick finally pledged to take “swift action” to create a secure office, the corporate’s resolution to usher in WilmerHale, a regulation agency that has a historical past of representing administration on issues relating to unionizing, made many doubt the sincerity of his statements.

Update 6:13PM ET: Here’s the entire response from an Activision Blizzard spokesperson:

Throughout our engagement with the DFEH, we’ve got complied with each correct request in help of its review whilst we had been implementing reforms to guarantee our workplaces are welcoming and secure for each worker. Those modifications proceed in the present day, and include:

· Several high-level personnel modifications;

· Revamped hiring and recruiting practices requiring various interview panels;

· Greater transparency on pay fairness;

· Expanded and improved coaching and investigative capabilities for human useful resource and compliance workers;

· Created investigation groups outdoors of enterprise models to help larger independence;

· Restructured divisions to help larger accountability;

· Enhanced review processes to include analysis of managers by workers;

· Clear boundaries on office conduct with a zero-tolerance strategy to harassment and different actions that diminish or marginalize.

We try to be an organization that acknowledges and celebrates the various abilities and views that lead to the creation of nice, globally interesting leisure.  We have offered the DFEH with clear proof that we don’t have gender pay or promotion disparities. Our senior management is more and more various, with a rising variety of ladies in key management roles throughout the corporate.

We share DFEH’s objective of a secure, inclusive office that rewards workers equitably and are dedicated to setting an instance that others can observe.

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