July 27, 2021

Activision Blizzard Inc.the video game studio that has produced popular games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush has been slapped with a civil lawsuit for sex discrimination in the workplace by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Activision Blizzard over a culture of ‘constant sexual harassment

The complaint states that the company fosters a sexist culture, where the women employees are paid lesser than men. The women employees are targeted and subjected to ongoing sexual harassment including instances of groping.

According to DFEH, the video gaming company was aware of the ongoing harassment and failed to stop it. Moreover, the women employees who spoke up were retaliated at the workplace.
The lawsuit has been filed over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and potential violations of the state’s equal pay law.

In a statement provided by Activision Blizzard, the company has mentioned that they had worked towards improving the company’s culture in recent years. They accused the DFEH of not effectively trying to resolve the discrimination claims before filing a lawsuit.

As per the statement, “The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today.”

However, DFEH has alleged that all the female workers of Activision Blizzard that spoke to the investigators said that the women employees were paid less and assigned lower-level jobs and working in the company was like working in a frat house.

The complaint stated that male employees drank on the job and many times came to work hungover. The women employees were sexually harassed, the men passed comments about the women’s bodies and joked about rape. There were instances of unwanted touching of female employees by their male colleagues.

DFEH filed the lawsuit after a two-year investigation by DFEH. The women employees have alleged that they were paid less than men, both while being recruited and during their employment. They were also assigned to lower-level positions and not considered for promotions, in spite of working more than their male colleagues in some cases. One woman has mentioned that she was informed by her manager that she couldn’t be promoted because “she might get pregnant and like being a mom too much.”

According to the lawsuit the sex discrimination was even worse for women of colour. Two African-American women have stated being singled out and micromanaged when they worked for the company. Few of the women who complained of discrimination or harassment faced involuntary transfers or were laid off or denied certain opportunities.

On the other hand, after DFEH filed a lawsuit Activision Blizzard has stated that it doesn’t tolerate sexual misconduct or harassment and they investigated all claims. It also said that they pay all the employees fairly and the pay structure is nondiscriminatory.

However, after the lawsuit was filed, several former employees took to social media and corroborated some of the allegations it contained.
Gender discrimination is fast becoming an area of legal concern with more and more women entering the workforce. There are State and federal laws that mandate employers to treat all their workers equally and not discriminate. However, there are many companies and businesses where the employees are subjected to sex or gender discrimination.

What Is Sex Discrimination?

Sex discrimination in the workplace is when a person is discriminated against at the workplace or not treated fairly because of their sex or gender. Some of the common examples of sex discrimination at work are:
• Unequal pay
• Different job responsibilities
• Advancement opportunities
• Gender-specific dress code

Sex Discrimination lawyers California

If you believe you have been discriminated against at your workplace because of your sex or gender orientation you should fight for your rights. Get in touch with our team of experienced sex discrimination lawyers at Khashan Law to discuss your legal options. Contact us at 951.461.2387 for a free and confidential consultation