Activision Blizzard Sued By U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission For Workplace Harassment & Discrimination

Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has another government lawsuit on its plate, with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suing the Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft publisher for workplace harassment and discrimination on Monday.

The suit, filed after a three-year investigation, alleges that Activision Blizzard’s female employees were subject “to sex-based discrimination, including harassment, based on their gender,” along with retaliation “for complaining about sex-based discrimination.” The file also alleges that female employees were paid less than their male-counterparts.

The EEOC demands that Activision Blizzard “institute and carry out policies, practices, and programs to
ensure equal employment opportunities, and which eradicate the effects of its past and present unlawful employment practices.” The demands also include compensating employees affected by the harassment and discrimination with back pay and damages.

Monday’s lawsuit comes just a couple months after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleged that Activision Blizzard allegedly allowed a “‘frat boy’ work place culture.” The July lawsuit also claims that “executives sexually harassed women and male employees openly joked about rape and drank alcohol while engaging in “inappropriate behavior” toward women, it was further alleged.

Since the July lawsuit, Activision Blizzard current and former employees organized a walkout to protest against the gaming giant’s working conditions. Just days after the July lawsuit and the wide-reaching protest, Activision Blizzard saw an executive reshuffling with president J. Allen Brack stepping down  from his post, bringing in Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra coming in as co-leads. Shortly after Brack’s exit from Activision Blizzard, former HR exec Jesse Meschuk departed the gaming company.

Monday afternoon, Activision Blizzard settled with the EEOC, noting in a statement that it has “committed to create an $18 million fund to compensate and make amends to” the suit’s claimants.”

“There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences. I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

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