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California Agency Expands Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard To Include Temporary Workers; Alleges Company Interfering With Investigation

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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In an update to the current ongoing lawsuit filing, it seems the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment have expanded its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The expanded lawsuit now includes  contract workers in addition to the full time workers the lawsuit was representing. Meanwhile, the DFEH is also alleging that Activision Blizzard is directly interfering with the department's ability to conduct its investigation in relation to the lawsuit.

The news comes via Axios, stating that the lawsuit itself was expanded to now include temporary contract workers as part of the lawsuit. Before the language of the lawsuit seemed to only cover full-time employees, though now the language has been updated to include any worker, both full time and temporary (which is normal in the games industry to use contract workers).

Axios goes on to report that the DFEH is alleging that Activision Blizzard has hindered its ability to "investigate, prosecute and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations" through the enforcement of NDAs and the hiring of an outside law firm WilmerHale to investigate its issues.

The amended lawsuit, filed on Monday, the DFEH alleges it sent a Document Retention Notice to Activision Blizzard, informing them of their "obligation to not destroy, conceal, or alter any documents or data relevant" to the complaint. The updated amendment claims that the California agency requested documents pertinent to the investigation, which according to the lawsuit complain Activision Blizzard "refused to produce."

"DFEH is also informed and aware that documents and records have not been maintained as required by law or by the DFEH's Document Retention Notice, including but not limited to documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel and emails are deleted thirty (30) days after an employee's separation," the amended lawsuit states via Axios' Stephen Totilo.

It's been a tumultuous few weeks since the news first broke in late July about the current lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, which alleges the gaming giant fostered an environment that allowed a "bro culture" to flourish. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is alleging the workplace was one where sexual discrimination and harassment took place over the years, which has seen several high-profile names at the company, including Overwatch character namesake Jesse McCree, as wel as Blizzard president J Allen Brack leave the company. Employees at Activision Blizzard staged a walkout almost a month ago in protest to the response to the lawsuit by the gaming publisher, as well as organized into an employee group, the ABK Worker's Alliance, which stated recently via Twitter that the company itself has yet to meet the demands of the walkout, now 27 days after it took place.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore

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