California sues Activision Blizzard Over Sexist Workplace Culture

Adiba Chowdhury
By Adiba Chowdhury
3 Min Read
Credit: Activision Blizzard

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit, Activision Blizzard is accused of nurturing a “Frat Boy” workplace culture where women employees are underpaid and are sexually harassed.

Activision Blizzard Inc. is the publisher of famous videogame titles like Overwatch, Call of Duty, and more. After conducting a two-year-long investigation, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) decided to sue Activision Blizzard for mistreatment of its female employees.

The lawsuit was filed on 20th July (Tuesday) at Los Angeles Superior Court. The details of the lawsuit revealed the shockingly disturbing workplace practices of Activision Blizzard that allegedly happen on a daily basis. Some of these include the under-compensation of female employees in terms of remuneration, promotion, work assignments, and more.

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Moreover, the male employees of the company allegedly regularly engage in activities like “cube crawls”, whereby they consume an excessive amount of alcohol and sexually harass the female employees at their cubicle desks. Furthermore, the agency also claims that Activision’s male employees joke about rape and dump their share of work on the female employees.

The agency also revealed some gruesome details surrounding the alleged sufferings of female employees who work at Activision. According to the lawsuit, one of the female employees succumbed to workplace sexual harassment and ended up taking her own life during a company trip with a male supervisor.

Activision Blizzard Responds

A spokesperson representing Activision Blizzard has released an official statement, stating:

“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.”

To go a step further, Activision Blizzard denied the claims made by DFEH’s lawsuit, saying:

“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.”

The lawsuit is labeled Calif. Dep’t of Fair Emp. & Housing v. Activision Blizzard Inc., Cal. Super. Ct., No. 21stcv26571, 7/20/21.

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By Adiba Chowdhury Deputy Evergreen Editor
Adiba Chowdhury is the Deputy Editor of the Evergreen section at GameRiv. Adiba is an avid gamer, artist, and anime lover. She expresses her love for RPGs, JRPGs, and Action Adventure games by writing about evergreen titles with lasting impressions for GameRiv.