State Of California Sues Activision Blizzard


Graphic By Brandon Ramirez

Speculation that Activision Blizzard stock is going to rebound has begun as the stock has began to stabilize, despite the lawsuit from shareholders.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing games publisher Activision Blizzard after a two year investigation. The suit was filed on July 20, alleging that Activision Blizzard was violating California’s workplace protections. The suit brings to light the “frat boy” culture of the company.

Internal Issues

 Women working for Activision Blizzard are less likely to be promoted and more likely to be fired. There are claims that men pass responsibilities over to their female staff in favor of playing Call of Duty. As well as pay discrepancies between men and women. Additionally, the staff at Activision Blizzard would reportedly take part in “cube crawls”. These “cube crawls” entailed the male staff drinking and going to hit on their female counterparts during work hours. 

Reactions to the Lawsuit

Following the suit and the publicity it garnered, Activision Blizzard began to react. Former US Homeland Security advisor, now Activision executive, Fran Townsend had denied the allegations facing her company. She faced heavy scrutiny following her statement. Activision Blizzard also hired WilmerHale to fight the suit, generating concern due to claims of the firm being union busters. The staff also reacted, coming together for a walk out to protest the treatment by the company. 

Current State of Affairs

Most recently, the lawsuit has only increased in severity. The State Of California has updated their complaints against Activision Blizzard. Now claiming that Activision Blizzard has shredded documents relating to the investigation that should have remained available. Further, they brought attention to Activision Blizzard’s enforcement of non-disclosure agreements. Activision Blizzard also has announced plans to change the company culture and appoint new senior executives.

 In a press release from Sep 13 they announced “Julie Hodges, Senior Vice President, Corporate HR and Compensation, Benefits and Talent Acquisition at The Walt Disney Company, will become Chief People Officer, effective September 21. Sandeep Dube, Senior Vice President, Revenue Management at Delta Airlines, will become Chief Commercial Officer, effective September 27”.