California sues Activision Blizzard over a culture of ‘constant sexual harassment’

Employees are already coming forward to confirm

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) says that famed game publishing studio Blizzard Entertainment and its owner Activision Blizzard have created a culture of “persistent sexual harassment” and gender-based discrimination in a new lawsuit filed Tuesday that Top claims officials were aware of and/or were involved – and in the hours since the lawsuit was revealed, several women have gone on to corroborate the allegations.

The details are so disturbing that we’re going to start a issue a warning Already. The idea that male workers keep a “cube crawl” is one of animal teacher Allegations in the trial:

Female employees almost universally affirmed that working for defendants was tantamount to working in a frat house, with male employees always drinking alcohol and subjecting female employees to sexual harassment without repercussions. “Cube crawls” were common in defendants’ offices and male employees proudly swung into work hunger. Similarly, male employees will play video games while at work, joke about their sexual encounters, openly talk about female bodies and make many jokes about rape.

As a product of this “frat boy” culture, women were subjected to numerous sexual comments and advances, groping and unwanted physical touch, and other forms of harassment. A female employee noted that random male employees would approach the defendant at her work place and comment on her breasts. Female employees working for the World of Warcraft team noted that male employees and supervisors would lash out at them, make derogatory remarks about rape, and otherwise engage in abusive behavior. This behavior was known to supervisors and was actually encouraged by them, in which a male supervisor openly encourages a male subordinate to “buy” a prostitute to cure his bad mood.

Blizzard President J. Alan Brack has been named as being particularly aware of and capable of such behavior, and an unnamed former Blizzard CTO “was seen by employees groping drunk female employees at company events. ” world of Warcraft Senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi is also notably named:

Alex Afrasiabi, the former Senior Creative Director of World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment, was allowed to engage in explicit sexual harassment without repercussions. During a corporate event (an annual convention called Blizz Con) Afrasiabi lashed out at female employees, telling her that he wanted to marry them, attempting to kiss them, and putting them around, his arms. It was in clear sight of the other male employees, including supervisors, who had to intervene and remove them from the female employees. Afrasiabi was so known for her involvement in the harassment of women that her suit was nicknamed the “Crosby Suit” after alleged rapist Bill Crosby.

We’re assuming DFEH stands for Bill Cosby, but it’s unclear. The full complaint below mentions even more lewd things, such as how an employee committed suicide after being sexually harassed.

All the alleged sexual harassment is on top of discrimination allegations, such as a refusal to promote women — “the manager commented that they couldn’t afford to promote her because she could be pregnant and like being a mother,” One charge reads – as well as pay discrimination and outright retaliation. Employees were reportedly “discouraged from complaining because human resources personnel were known to be close to the alleged harassers.”

Here are the full details of Activision Blizzard ledge And other publications that call the lawsuit “irresponsible behavior from irresponsible state bureaucrats who are running many of the state’s best businesses out of California”:

We value diversity and strive to promote a workplace that provides inclusivity for all. There is no place for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind in our company or industry, or any industry. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases relating to malpractice, action was taken to resolve the matter.

The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, details of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with DFEH throughout their investigation, which includes providing them with comprehensive data and ample documentation, but they declined to tell us what the problem is with them. They were required by law to adequately investigate and discuss in good faith with us to better understand and resolve any claims or concerns prior to going to trial, but they failed to do so. Instead, they rushed to file a false complaint, as we will demonstrate in court. We are appalled by DFEH’s reprehensible conduct to drag an employee’s tragic suicide into a complaint, which has no bearing on the matter and has no regard for his bereaved family. While we find this behavior disrespectful and unprofessional, it is unfortunately an example of how he has conducted himself during his investigation. It is this type of irresponsible behavior of irresponsible state bureaucrats who are running many of the best businesses in the state out of California.

DFEH Paint’s photo is not today’s Blizzard workplace. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation began, we have made significant changes to address the company culture and reflect greater diversity within our leadership teams. We have increased internal programs and channels for employees to report violations, including an “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an employee relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion and have mobilized our employee network globally to provide additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for many years.

We make a tremendous effort to create fair and remunerative compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially equal work. We take a number of proactive measures to ensure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct comprehensive anti-discrimination training, including for those who are part of the compensation process.

We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse and inclusive workplace for our people, and we look forward to continuing this effort for years to come. are committed. It’s a shame that DFEH didn’t want to chat with us about what they were seeing in their investigation.

Since the lawsuit unfolded, at least five former Blizzard employees have come forward on social media to confirm details such as “cube crawls”, or that they had to deal with sexual harassment, or that they saw it happen, or that they actually appeared anonymously in the suit. We are not embedding or linking to their posts without permission, as we are concerned that they may be targeted online as well.

California was also involved in a major sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against DFEH Riot Games, which was initially suggested by DFEH to be $400 million or more, before only a $10 million settlement was reached.

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