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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

California sues video game developer Activision Blizzard alleging sexual harassment

by Alexandra Meeks | CNN Business

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a civil suit against Activision Blizzard, America’s largest video game developer, on Tuesday, alleging gender discrimination against several female employees. sexual harrasment, and unequal pay.

“DFEH alleges that women were subjected” persistent sexual harassmentincluding groping, comments and advances,” the state agency said in a press release. “The lawsuit also alleges that company executives and human resources personnel were aware of the harassment and took appropriate steps to prevent the unlawful conduct.” failed to raise, and instead retaliated against the women who complained.”

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard, a company known for making popular games including “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” told CNN that they are taking allegations Seriously and have launched an internal investigation for all claims.

“We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that provides inclusivity for all,” said Calvin Liu, Director of Corporate Communications at Activision Blizzard. “There is no place for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind in our company or industry, or any industry.”

The filing says the California lawsuit refutes the company’s claims, alleging that Activision Blizzard promoted a “frat boy” work culture where female employees were “received by their male coworkers for unsolicited sexual remarks and abuses.” Advances have to be stopped constantly.”

Liu told CNN that the action has been taken to address past issues related to the misconduct cases, blasting the state’s filings and investigations as “inaccurate” and “perverted.”

“DFEH Paint’s picture is not today’s Blizzard workplace,” Liu said. “Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation began, we have made significant changes to address the company culture and to reflect greater diversity within our leadership teams.”

The state, however, alleges in its lawsuit that Activision Blizzard maintains a leadership team that is staffed exclusively by white men with a few women in top roles. The DFEH also claims that female employees receive a lower starting salary and are promoted more slowly than their male counterparts.

The gaming company told CNN that they have made an effort to pay all employees fairly and have also extended internal programs to create channels for employees to report violations.

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