Activision Blizzard is a company that deals with the making of video games like Call of Duty, World of warcraft, overwatch, and many more. It is based in Santa Monica, California. Recently, Activision Blizzard has been held responsible for alleged harassment and discrimination going over women in the company
. It has been taken over to the court over an alleged ‘frat boy’ culture that discriminated against women.
The legal action and the filing of the lawsuit of this shameful act have been done by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). In this lawsuit, very awful and disturbing stuff was reported.
Female employees were subjected to sexual harassment, unequal pay, retaliation, loss of life, and a failure to prevent harassment. It was a two-year investigation and many female employees raised their voices to take the case to court.
Let’s look into the harassment which was done in the workplace and the replies of Activision Blizzard over the accusation.
Harassments At The Workplace Of Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard comes under the most flourishing company in the gaming world. Regardless, it was prosecuted over the alleged culture of discrimination and harassment.
Women were subjected to ‘cube crawls’.The prosecuting party DFEH mentioned that the male workers in the company would drink ounces of liquor. And crawl their way through the various cubicles in the office.
Male employees would come to the workplace with hangovers without any hesitation. They would play video games for hours during work. And would give all their pending work to female employees to complete. They would discuss the sexual encounters and joke about rape.
DFEH mentioned that “female employees almost universally confirmed that working in Activision was asking to work in a frat house.”
Female employees had to suffer from sexual harassment. Male employees or senior executives touched female coworkers inappropriately. Higher executives and creators made it difficult for female employees to work in an environment where they were subjected to heinous sexual harassment.
Formal complaints were also filed against this disgraceful act. But Activision failed to take any action on it. Instead, these complaints were rejected and weren’t kept confidential.
DFEH cited “As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units and selected for layoffs.”
The sexual harassment led to the death of an employee which Activision strongly denies. A female employee killed herself for getting subjected to sexual harassment which is an obvious example of what Activision allowed to occur.
Read more: Georgia Law
The female employee had a sexual relationship with her male supervisor. She went on a business trip with him before which another female coworker alleged that male colleagues had circulated intimate pictures of her at a party. This humiliation could not be handled by the employee as a result, she killed herself.
There was discrimination going on about payments and other carrier barriers. These made many female employees leave the company. The company had only 20% of female employees. And the company was mostly led by male executives and whites.
The payment for women across the company was less than male creators and colleagues. Despite doing similar work as of male employees, the payment for females was less.
Activision promoted female employees very slowly but terminated them quickly. A woman worker from the company took over the managerial responsibilities and asked for an increase in pay and promotion. Instead of doing that she was mocked that she might get pregnant and would like to be a mom too much. So they could not take the risk of promoting her.
DFEH has also spoken of how women of color were particularly helpless victims of discriminatory practices.
Activision Replies To The Lawsuit
Activision called the lawsuit an ‘inaccurate complaint’. They said that the lawsuit contains fake allegations about the description of blizzard’s past.
First of all, Activision strongly denied the allegation of a female employee dying due to them. They spoke of how they were frustrated by the irresponsible conduct of DFEH which pulls them into the unfortunate suicide case of an employee which has nothing to do with the company.
Further, Blizzard mentioned that it had introduced compulsory anti-harassment training and the indoor procedures were completely changed.
They counter-attacked DFEH saying that they could have had good faith discussions with Activision to understand the situation better. And to resolve any complaints before filing the lawsuit but they failed to do so and filed inappropriate and false litigation.
To this, DFEH said that they attempted to resolve the problem before filing the case.
Workplace harassment has been common at every place and Activision has been sued to promote the sexual harassment done in its workplace. It required both parties to actively participate in resolving the situation.
Nevertheless, they both failed to do so. During all these disturbances going on, who do you think is correct? The DFEH alleging workplace harassment at Activision or Activision defending themselves completely defying the lawsuit filed by DFEH.