Activision-Blizzard sued for harassment of its employees

The video game company is being sued in California, after an edifying report from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which reports several acts of harassment, including one having pushed an employee to suicide.

Is Activision-Blizzard a sexist company? After two years of investigation, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing of California has just released an edifying report on the working conditions of employees of the famous video game company. And we must admit that the finding is not brilliant. According to the government organization, there is within Activision-Blizzard a real culture of “Boys Club”, in which women are said to be confronted with unequal situations on a daily basis.

Sexual harassment and suicide

Whether it is salary, positions of responsibility or unfair dismissals, the studio behind World of Warcraft would also do little to prevent and punish cases of sexual harassment. In a Bloomberg article this week, the newspaper describes several widely problematic situations, including where company employees allegedly drank heavily in the workplace, before harassing female colleagues. The media also reports cases of promotion discrimination, on the pretext that an employee is likely to become pregnant. A few months ago, an employee took her own life after a company trip, where she was harassed by her supervisor. In particular, photos of her naked had circulated within the company.

With this highly symbolic complaint filed Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Los Angeles, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing hopes to obtain consideration and legal redress for all employees of the company who have been confronted with this type of behavior. For its part, Activision-Blizzard has defended itself from any “Sexist culture” : “We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusiveness for all. There is no place in our business or our industry (…) for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind ”. The company criticizes the DFEH in particular for relying on erroneous or past situations which do not reflect “Not today’s Blizzard workplace”.

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