Activision Blizzard is now facing a new sexual harassment lawsuit following a recent filing in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, initiated by a current employee. It joins a number of other lawsuits the company is currently facing, including a major Department of Fair Employment and Housing case alleging management allowed sexual harassment and discrimination to flourish in the workplace.
The latest lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of an employee who worked as a senior administrative assistant in the IT Department, alleges that ‘for years, Activision Blizzard’s open “frat boy” environment fostered rampant sexism, harassment and discrimination with 700 reported incidents occurring under CEO Bobby Kotick’s watch.’
It further alleges that the plaintiff, referred to as ‘Jane Doe’ to protect her identity, was frequently pressured to drink and participate in ’embarrassing’ and inappropriate games. Doe also claims female employees were often subject to unwanted sexual comments, invited to casual group sex, and groped by male colleagues during ‘cube crawls’ around the office, which took place after hours.
After taking issue with these happenings, Doe was allegedly told it was just a matter of ‘leadership being nice’ and wanting to be friendly. Doe claims she was later told not to share her concerns, as it could damage the reputation of the company – and was allegedly offered a lower-paying job in another role, after attempts to find a new job in a different department failed.
These allegations are fairly similar to the content of currently ongoing lawsuits, with several other female employees also speaking out about the alleged ‘frat boy’ culture at the company in established cases.
At this stage, it’s unclear how the filing will proceed – and whether it will become part of the larger California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit.
The filing follows major turmoil at Activision Blizzard, which is currently facing a number of lawsuits for its alleged workplace culture, as well as for its recent acquisition by Microsoft, which shareholders have alleged is ‘unfair for a number of reasons’.
The company was purchased by Microsoft in early 2022, although the acquisition is yet to be finalised. Should it go ahead, it appears Microsoft will have a very full plate on its hands.