California suing sport publishing studio over tradition of 'fixed sexual harassment'


California is suing a publishing firm behind widespread video video games, alleging it of fostering a “frat boy” office tradition that subjected ladies on the firm to sexual harassment and decrease pay than their male friends. 

The California Division of Honest Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed the lawsuit Wednesday in opposition to Activision Blizzard, the corporate behind online game franchises akin to Name of Responsibility and World of Warcraft. The state alleges the sport writer, primarily based in Sunnyvale, violated California’s Equal Pay Act and Honest Housing and Employment Act.

The grievance alleges the corporate assigned ladies to lower-paid and lower-opportunity ranges on the firm. Girls allegedly obtained decrease beginning pay and earned lower than male counterparts for “considerably comparable work.”


“Confronted with such hostile phrases and circumstances of employment, many ladies have been compelled to go away the corporate,” the grievance states. 

The state alleged the corporate had a “frat boy” tradition that may be a “breeding floor for harassment and discrimination in opposition to ladies.” 

Activision Blizzard rejected the allegation, accusing the California company’s grievance of together with “distorted, and in lots of instances false, descriptions of Blizzard’s previous,” in keeping with a press release from an Activision Blizzard spokesperson. 

“Over the previous a number of years and persevering with for the reason that preliminary investigation began, we’ve made vital modifications to handle firm tradition and mirror extra variety inside our management groups,” the spokesperson mentioned in a press release. 

The grievance additionally alleges ladies on the firm have been topic to “dice crawls” the place male workers “drink copious quantities of alcohol as they ‘crawl’ their method” by way of workplace cubicles and “typically have interaction in inappropriate habits towards feminine workers.”

“Feminine workers are subjected to fixed sexual harassment, together with having to repeatedly fend off undesirable sexual remark and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped on the ‘dice crawls’ and different firm occasions,” the grievance alleges.


The DFEH factors to at least one particular “tragic instance” by which a feminine worker took her personal life throughout a enterprise journey with a male supervisor after allegedly dealing with sexual harassment. 

Activision Blizzard pushed again on that allegation particularly in its assertion. 

“We’re sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to pull into the grievance the tragic suicide of an worker whose passing has no bearing in any way on this case and with no regard for her grieving household,” the corporate reportedly mentioned. 

The go well with additionally alleges that the corporate did not take “efficient remedial measures” after quite a few complaints about harassment, discrimination and retaliation. 

The corporate spokesperson mentioned within the assertion that Activision Blizzard has “amplified inside packages and channels” for workers to report violations, together with including a confidential integrity hotline and introducing an worker relations workforce devoted to investigating worker considerations.