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Activision Blizzard sued by California about ‘frat boy’ place of work lifestyle


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A “frat boy” atmosphere rife with sexual harrassment and office discrimination. That’s what the point out of California is accusing Activision Blizzard of through an explosive lawsuit submitted Tuesday by the Office of Truthful Employment and Housing (DFEH).

The DFEH’s go well with formally accuses Activision Blizzard of workplace discrimination. It alleges that ladies are not only compensated unfairly, but also subject matter to sizeable harrassment. The DFEH named Activision Blizzard a “breeding floor for harrassment and discrimination,” in which women are subject to typical sexual improvements by adult males, normally large-ranking, who largely go unpunished.

“Ladies and ladies now make up nearly 50 % of players in The united states, but the gaming market proceeds to cater to males,” the suit reads, “Activision-Blizzard’s double-digit percentage advancement, 10-figure annual revenues, and new range advertising campaigns have sad to say transformed minimal.”

Activision Blizzard, which publishes titles such as Contact of Responsibility and Entire world of Warcraft, and past 12 months experienced revenues of over $8 billion, is the hottest in a line of gaming giants to deal with criticisms above workplace culture. The CEO of Riot Video games, the firm driving the massively popular League of Legends, was accused of sexual harrassment in February by a previous employee — just a yr right after it compensated $10 million to over 1,000 females to settle a discrimination lawsuit. Last yr dozens of accusations of sexual harrassment at Ubisoft, which publishes Assassin’s Creed, led to the resignation of a few executives.

Illustrative of the claims DFEH is generating towards Activision is an office environment ritual referred to as “dice crawls,” in which gentlemen allegedly consume “copious” liquor, crawl by means of the office environment cubicles and engage in “inappropriate habits” which features groping. The lawsuit describes confronting incidents, like allegations a woman worker fully commited suicide all through a company excursion as a end result of a harmful relationship with a supervisor.  

Activision-Blizzard firmly rejected the suit in a assertion released to media. “The DFEH involves distorted, and in quite a few circumstances untrue, descriptions of Blizzard’s past,” it reported, accusing the state division of filing a rushed and inaccurate report. The organization mentioned it was “sickened” by the inclusion of “the tragic suicide of an personnel whose passing has no bearing by any means” on the scenario.

“The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard place of work of today. In excess of the past quite a few decades and continuing since the original investigation started off, we have designed major modifications to handle company tradition and reflect extra variety inside of our management groups. 

Past office harrassment, the DFEH lawsuit also alleges systematic discrimination versus ladies. Women of all ages are payed much less for the exact same work, the lawsuit alleges, and are subject matter to a better stage of scrutiny. The Depertment criticized Activision-Blizzard for using much less ladies than males — it mentioned 20% of the company’s personnel were women — and for its completely white, male “top rated leadership”. Of the 12 leadership positions stated on the firm’s web site, 3 are stuffed by women of all ages.