The claim that women at the gaming company were paid less and discriminated against, and it described a culture of sexual harassment.
A California state agency is suing Activision Blizzard, the video game maker that produces Call of Duty, for sexual harassment and discrimination.
After a two-year investigation, the state Department of Employment and Housing said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that Activision had promoted a" 'frat boy' work culture. "Executives sexually harassed women, the agency said, and male employees openly joked about the rape and drank alcohol while adopting a " inappropriate behavior "towards women in their cubicles at events known as " cube crawls ".
The lawsuit added that the Women were generally paid less than men for similar work and were less likely to be promoted. A breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women, "the agency wrote. employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to constantly push back against unwanted sexual comments and advancesfrom their male colleagues and supervisors and get fiddled with at "cube crawls " and other corporate events. "
In one case, the lawsuit said, an employee committed suicide while on a business trip, as a result of having sex with her male supervisor. Her death, male colleagues reportedly shared explicit photos of the woman, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which was previously reported by Bloomberg Law , said the company's executives and human resources department had not addressed the faults when notified.
In a statement, Activision said that "the image painted by DFEH is not Blizza's workplacerd of today, "adding that the company has been trying to pay employees fairly and has worked to resolve its culture and improve persity in recent years. Activision employees have been following since. years of anti-harassment training, and the company says it has created a confidential hotline and team that investigate employee concerns, among other changes.
" There is no room in our company or our industry, or in any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind, "Activision wrote. "In cases related to misconduct, steps have been taken to resolve the issue. "
The company said California failed to properly discuss the charges with Activision before proceeding with, among other things, blaming the agency '' having mentioned suicideof an employee.
"It 's this kind of irresponsible behavior from irresponsible state bureaucrats who are driving many of the best companies out of the way. the State of California, "Activision wrote.
The National Employment Agency declined to comment. He said in the lawsuit that he wanted Activision to compensate employees for unpaid wages, provide additional reward and pay punitive damages.
Activision, which is based in Santa Monica, Calif., Which is worth about $ 70 billion, has nearly 10,000 employees. The company has has been the subject of criticism from its workers regarding the wage disparity , especially since shareholders aret closely approved a $ 155 million salary package for CEO Bobby Kotick in June, making him one of the the top executives highest paid in the country .
Accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination are far from uncommon in the gaming industry, where the workforce of game studios, especially at the management level, remains predominantly white and male. Last summer, dozens of women have spoken out against such behavior, accusing people from French publisher Ubisoft - and sparking more calls for reform. The Fair Employment Agency also has sued Riot Games , the game maker League of Legends, accusing it of sex discrimination and sexual harassment.