Activision Blizzard Sued in California for Sex Discrimination “Brotherhood Boy” Culture

Activision Blizzard It is facing a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on the grounds that it cultivates what the agency calls “fraternity boys” workplaces.As originally reported BloombergAfter two years of investigation, DFEH sued the gaming giant, which concluded that the company discriminated against female employees. In addition to lower wages than male employees, female employees are often subjected to sexual harassment.

DFEH cited several findings in its survey complain (PDF). Court documents show that only about 20% of Activision Blizzard’s employees are women, and few can hold the highest positions in the company. In addition, the salaries and total compensation of those who do hold higher positions are lower than their male peers. Other female employees in non-executive positions have lower salaries, slower promotion rates, and faster turnover rates.

DFEH also stated that the defendant’s “fraternity boy” culture was “a hotbed of harassment and discrimination against women”. The agency wrote that female employees must often resist unwelcome sexual comments. They had to endure being fumbled during the “Cube Crawl”, in which case the male employees would also drink while walking around the cubicles. The document mentions a particularly shocking case in which a female employee committed suicide with a male supervisor while on a business trip with a sex toy.according to Bloomberg, The employee was severely harassed before her death, and her nude photos were circulated around the company’s holiday party.

DFEH stated that Activision Blizzard’s human resources department has received numerous complaints of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. However, the defendants allegedly failed to take “effective remedies” against them. In addition, people clearly discourage complaints, because it is well known that human resources personnel have a close relationship with the alleged harasser.

The state agency has filed a lawsuit to force the video game giant to comply with California’s workplace protection measures. It is also seeking unpaid wages and salary adjustments for female employees.

However, Activision Blizzard denied DEFH’s allegations. The company said in a statement that the agency’s lawsuit “includes a misrepresentation of Blizzard’s past, which in many cases is a false description.” It called DFEH’s complaint “inaccurate” and described the lawsuit as “irresponsible behavior by irresponsible state bureaucrats, which are driving many of the state’s best companies out of California.”

Whole statement, polite Kotaku, Read:

“We value diversity and strive to create an inclusive workplace for everyone. Our company, industry, or any industry does not allow any form of sexual misconduct or harassment. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, actions have been taken to resolve the issue.

DFEH includes a misrepresentation of Blizzard’s past, which in many cases is an erroneous description. We worked very closely with DFEH throughout the investigation process, including providing them with extensive data and sufficient documents, but they refused to tell us what they thought was the problem. The law requires them to conduct full investigations and sincere discussions with us before filing a lawsuit to better understand and resolve any claims or concerns, but they did not do so. Instead, they are eager to file inaccurate complaints, which we will prove in court. We were disgusted by DFEH’s condemned behavior and dragged the tragic suicide of an employee into the complaint. The employee’s death was not related to the case, and did not take into account her grieving family members. Although we think this behavior is shameful and unprofessional, unfortunately, this is an example of their performance throughout the investigation process. It is this irresponsible behavior of irresponsible state bureaucrats that has driven many of California’s best companies out of California.

The picture painted by DFEH is not the Blizzard workplace today. In the past few years, since the beginning of the initial investigation, we have made significant changes to address the company’s cultural issues and reflect more diversity in our leadership team. We updated our code of conduct to emphasize strict non-retaliation, expanded internal plans and channels for employees to report violations, including an “ASK list” with a confidential and integrity hotline, and introduced an employee relations team dedicated to investigating employees Worry. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, fairness, and inclusiveness, and integrated our employee network globally to provide additional support. Employees must also receive regular anti-harassment training and have been doing this for many years.

We have made great efforts to formulate fair and beneficial compensation plans and policies that reflect our culture and business. We strive to pay equal or basically similar jobs for all employees fairly. We take various proactive measures to ensure that compensation is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct extensive anti-discrimination training, including those involved in the compensation process.

We are confident to demonstrate our approach as an equal opportunity employer and create a supportive, diverse and inclusive workplace for our employees. We are committed to continuing our efforts in the coming years. Regrettably, DFEH does not want to contact us about what they think they have seen in the investigation. “

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