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California Files Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard, Alleging Sexual Harrassment, Unequal Pay And '

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 7,110

imageCalifornia Files Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard, Alleging Sexual Harrassment, Unequal Pay And 'Frat Boy' Culture | MMORPG.com

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the California Department of Fair Employment And Housing is alleging Activision Blizzard has fostered a "frat boy" culture which saw female employees contending with unequal pay, sexual harrassment and more. This filing comes after a two-year long investigation, according to Bloomberg Law.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,125
    A $70B corporation doesn't treat its people well? I'm shocked!
    Lark3mimmoralthangTuor7
    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 8,415
    Might explain why WoW has gone downhill so much the past couple of years......
    UngoodLark3mTuor7
  • mcrippinsmcrippins Member RarePosts: 1,530
    Regardless on if the accusations are true, this hurts Blizzard. Unfortunate in any case.
    Cheecher2Tuor7
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,983
    Does anyone really believe that PR piece by Blizzard?

    I mean, I don't. I think they are trying to use bully tactics, especially that line about driving companies out of CA. Sounds like whoever wrote that has been spending too much time e-peen waving with the nerd ragers, as it reeks of typical butthurt gamer's response to getting punished, "I'm not an asshole, You're an asshole, and I'm gonna take my business elsewhere"
    Lark3mFTrunks21
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 38,156
    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.
    mcrippinstzervoAsm0deusrojoArcueidLark3mUngoodTorvalZenJellyGdemami

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

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  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,250
    There is soooo much to decipher there i just can't do it,would take 15 paragraphs.

    Instead i will just have to do it in a vague manner,something i don't like doing but it is what it is.
    IMO BOTH sides are acting improperly and making false claims and well bending the truth.How do i know i am not in those offices,it is no different than anywhere else in the world.I can actually read between the lines very easily and can form an opinion on how i beleive thigns are really going down.
    I also believe that this is TARGETING for money reasons,i mean they are going after the two most lucrative long term businesses within Blizzard.You see you can't prove a long term point if the game has not been around long term,you also can't associate a one time happening with long term situations if the games are again not around long term.

    So this government office is going after the two targets it feels it has the best chance of making an easy agreement to pad their coffers.

    There is however two really bad outcomes from BS like this,one Blizzard is spending loads of money in the legal departments instead of the games and the government is wasting tax payers money because i do not beleive for one minute they care about anything abotu the female employees and are only after money.Why do i think this,well because several of those complaints could have just as easily been targeted by women at men but it just looks better in court if you claim the female has been scrutinized and they will use the pay scale to support their likely mostly bogus claims.

    I also ASSUME by Blizzard's statement that the government is going to use a suicide case as an argument on behalf of the family to again get some money out of it.I do NOT think the INTENT is just,i feel this is all about money....like it usually is.
    UngoodMallyxChampieFTrunks21Tuor7

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • tzervotzervo Member EpicPosts: 1,581
    edited July 22
    Kyleran said:
    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.
    The accusations are very serious and if true should be acted on.

    The commenters over MOP are such sad drama queens, always have been. Acting like they have the moral high ground while trying to rationalize going to private servers (best not lose our convenience either and getting the game for free is nice too eh?).
    ashiru_1978KyleranLark3mUngoodmaskedweaselZenJellyTuor7
  • DattelisDattelis Member UncommonPosts: 102
    edited July 22
    Unfortunately, these allegations were rumored for at least a decade against them. My guess is that for many people working there, it was like a dream job for them to work for such a highly regarded company (at one point). Now that they have somewhat lost their shine in the public eye (so many employees leaving for other companies or to start their own and now the front runner, WoW, taking such a public hit to population), people might feel more comfortable coming out against them. As the old saying goes though, "No King rules forever."
    Asm0deusFTrunks21
  • NorseGodNorseGod Member EpicPosts: 2,640
    edited July 22
    You mean the employees of a company that lectures everyone about social issues/behavior were projecting this whole time? Buhahahahahahahahha




    Post edited by NorseGod on
    ScotLark3mUngoodChampie
    To talk about games without the censorship, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/MMORPG/
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,499
    edited July 22
    Sounds like a a load of BS excuses on Blizzards part to me. Look at just two responses from them, look at the underlined italicized parts. :

    "the picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today"

    ...so they admit it was like that yesterday....or previously

    "Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture"

    again they admit they had to change some stuff and it took several years due to a toxic culture

    "Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint"

    They claim this has been rushed but themsleves admit they have been investigated over the past several years...dunno but that doesn't seem rushed to me!
    Have to say I don't believe a damned word coming out of blizzard and believe the allegations are more than likely quite accurate once past the BS corporate face saving shit.
    UngoodfoxgirlGorweTorvalSharneGdemamiFTrunks21

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • ashiru_1978ashiru_1978 Member UncommonPosts: 264

    mcrippins said:

    Regardless on if the accusations are true, this hurts Blizzard. Unfortunate in any case.



    There is no longer "Blizzard", only Activision, or if you want to be precise - Activision B.
    Tuor7
  • remnarremnar Member UncommonPosts: 38
    This sounds like typical denial from a corporation, and exaggeration from gold diggers. The judge will most likely throw it out on the case of "he said/she said". Even if there is video evidence, it would be thrown out because such evidence could be easily faked with actors in a office setting, unless a 3rd party investigator legally set up cameras, with all proper documentation, without employees knowing about it.
    NorseGodKyleranArglebargleZenJelly
  • ashiru_1978ashiru_1978 Member UncommonPosts: 264
    edited July 22

    tzervo said:


    Kyleran said:

    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.


    The accusations are very serious and if true should be acted on.

    The commenters over MOP are such sad drama queens, always have been. Acting like they have the moral high ground while trying to rationalize going to private servers (best not lose our convenience either and getting the game for free is nice too eh?).



    MOP, along with their owners believe are some righteous, self-proclaimed fighters of justice, but private servers are not bad, I have played them for years and I'm thankful they exist. Paying to play the joke that is Activision's WoW is insanity.
    KyleranZenJelly
  • NorseGodNorseGod Member EpicPosts: 2,640
    remnar said:
    This sounds like typical denial from a corporation, and exaggeration from gold diggers. The judge will most likely throw it out on the case of "he said/she said". Even if there is video evidence, it would be thrown out because such evidence could be easily faked with actors in a office setting, unless a 3rd party investigator legally set up cameras, with all proper documentation, without employees knowing about it.
    Except there won't be any video or recording of any of this stuff being done or said. Everyone has a video camera in their pocket, yet nothing.

    That's ok, I want them to taste (choke on) their own medicine, frivolous or not. Because being fair and reasonable is for suckers these days. Your side winning at all cost is all that matters. 

    The irony is delicious. Can't wait for them to Tweet some SJW projections. lol
    ChampieTuor7
    To talk about games without the censorship, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/MMORPG/
  • BizkitNLBizkitNL Member RarePosts: 2,539
    Can we stop calling this company Blizzard? It's hasn't been Blizzard for years now.
    10
  • Mackaveli44Mackaveli44 Member RarePosts: 675

    Ungood said:

    Does anyone really believe that PR piece by Blizzard?



    I mean, I don't. I think they are trying to use bully tactics, especially that line about driving companies out of CA. Sounds like whoever wrote that has been spending too much time e-peen waving with the nerd ragers, as it reeks of typical butthurt gamer's response to getting punished, "I'm not an asshole, You're an asshole, and I'm gonna take my business elsewhere"



    Regardless of how you feel or see things relating to their response, that bit about businesses being driven out of California is 100% true. I know from first hand experience that quite a few of my personal friends who own businesses have left California.

    Theres a reason one of the biggest, most powerful companies in Califoria(McDonald Dougless AKA Boeing) left California. Tesla is leaving Califoria, family businesses are leaving California in droves. Sadly the state is ran by shmucks who don't know their asshole from a hole in the ground.
    Gobstopper3DChampie
  • goozmaniagoozmania Member RarePosts: 390
    edited July 22
    Lifelong Californian here, and have watched the total degradation and corruption of the state government. I would not trust a CA AG or SoS investigation over hearsay from an 8 year old on the playground.

    But also, to hell with woke Blizzard.
    ChampieNorseGodTuor7
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 15,573
    edited July 22

    Kyleran said:

    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.



    The thing is Kyleran, can we believe it? The majority of our working lives were in times when supposedly this sort of irresponsible behaviour was far wider spread, yet did anyone here see anything like this in the eighties, nineties etc? If things were so bad back then, how can there be corporate sanctioned behaviour like this today when elsewhere people get banned from work cafeterias and libraries because they did not go on a Anti Bullying course?

    So that's why I have trouble believing these claims though obviously the site was right to report this. I would also note, presumably every women has resigned from this intolerably atmosphere and is part of the court case? Because if not you have to ask why not? My guess is this is not as widespread as claimants would have us believe but you create more social media drama and therefore a bigger settlement if you say it is. This is far more likely to be down to specific individuals rather than corporate culture, though that still means the women involved deserve a fair settlement for what has happened.
    KylerangoozmaniaGobstopper3DZenJellyTuor7
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 38,156
    Scot said:

    Kyleran said:

    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.



    The thing is Kyleran, can we believe it? The majority of our working lives were in times when supposedly this sort of irresponsible behaviour was far wider spread, yet did anyone here see anything like this in the eighties, nineties etc? If things were so bad back then, how can there be corporate sanctioned behaviour like this today when elsewhere people get banned from work cafeterias and libraries because they did not go on a Anti Bullying course?

    So that's why I have trouble believing these claims though obviously the site was right to report this. I would also note, presumably every women has resigned from this intolerably atmosphere and is part of the court case? Because if not you have to ask why not? My guess is this is not as widespread as claimants would have us believe but you create more social media drama and therefore a bigger settlement if you say it is. This is far more likely to be down to specific individuals rather than corporate culture, though that still means the women involved deserve a fair settlement for what has happened.
    I'm sure some claims are true, even the more onerous ones but of a far more limited frequency than claimed.

    One I do think was probably true is women likely were underpaid as compared to their male peers and given less opportunities for career growth or leadership.

    Especially in technology, I've easily witnessed this phenomenon for most of my career, and personally know several women who experienced it.

    Never was a flagrant thing, never saw an obvious discussion about it at a management level, seems like more of an unconscious bias thing which perhaps the folks doing it weren't really aware of.

    Things are much better the last 5 years or so, at least with my current employer who has intentionally been trying to "fix" this inequity for an even longer period.

    It's not as easy as one might think as some of the reasons are systemic, going all the way back to women's education, training, interest, family responsibilities and more.

    Fact is, if we post a job req for programmers with the specific skills and job reqs (in the group) I'm part of at least 75% of the applicants are males... originally from India who don't live in our city and have to be incentived to relocate. 

    Probably explains why I sat in a team meeting a few years back and realized I was the only white male in the room, was a sobering experience. 

    Not all groups in the firm are like this of course, but still I can believe some of the claims against AB could be true.


    ScotZenJellyKidRiskTuor7

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing ESO - Blackwood at the moment.

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  • SharneSharne Member UncommonPosts: 271
    edited July 22
    Scot said:

    Kyleran said:

    Pretty tame responses here so far, over on MOP the posters are outraged, outraged I tell you.

    It is a pretty foul situation for the employees involved and it is amazing how prevalent it is in the gaming industry.

    I've worked in numerous companies over the years and never have witnessed anything nearly as extreme as some of these gaming lawsuits have outlined.



    The thing is Kyleran, can we believe it? The majority of our working lives were in times when supposedly this sort of irresponsible behaviour was far wider spread, yet did anyone here see anything like this in the eighties, nineties etc? If things were so bad back then, how can there be corporate sanctioned behaviour like this today when elsewhere people get banned from work cafeterias and libraries because they did not go on a Anti Bullying course?

    So that's why I have trouble believing these claims though obviously the site was right to report this. I would also note, presumably every women has resigned from this intolerably atmosphere and is part of the court case? Because if not you have to ask why not? My guess is this is not as widespread as claimants would have us believe but you create more social media drama and therefore a bigger settlement if you say it is. This is far more likely to be down to specific individuals rather than corporate culture, though that still means the women involved deserve a fair settlement for what has happened.
    I agree with you but at the end of the day, their view of 'the culture' is something that is based on perception which in turn is based on the cases they had reported to them, and whilst when doing their investigations, they undoubtedly interviewed some female workers who were treated well and enjoyed working for Blizzard, undoubtedly the basis of their perception would have been the initial complaints and the complaints of the aggrieved (for what ever reason) female workers they interviewed.

    The not being promoted or even hired in the first place due to the possibility of becoming pregnant, I have witnessed first hand as a helpdesk supervisor in the early 80's for a software company. Actually my manager at the time was female (I had only been there for 3 months), she basically offered me the supervision role (which I accepted) and told me that whilst chatting that one of  the reasons my colleague (female) didn't get the role (she had been in the role for over a year) was because she was female and might go on maternity leave, having just got married.

    I would really like to be able to say that it shocked me at the time but I have to say it didn't it was just an accepted part of the office culture at the time. so yeah I would say the 80's and 90's were far worse in terms of equality, racism, and bullying in general.

    Thankfully perceptions, views and values particularly in the workplace have moved on, at least in most companies, although I still don't think it is a level playing field by any means.

    However DFEH aren't stupid, they realise it probably isn't as bad as they are suggesting but taking a huge company like Blizzard to court will certainly make other companies sit up, take notice and sort their own houses out so to speak.


    KyleranTuor7
  • zyzololzyzolol Member UncommonPosts: 6
    In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.
    Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.
    In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip, before her death, male co-workers were alleged to be passing around a picture of the deceased's vagina.


    FTrunks21
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 38,156
    zyzolol said:
    In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.
    Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.
    In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip, before her death, male co-workers were alleged to be passing around a picture of the deceased's vagina.


    All truely horrific stories if they actually occurred but thankfully I never witnessed anything like that in my 40+ year career or there would have been some folks nursing some bruises after I throttled them.


    tzervoZenJellyTuor7

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    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing ESO - Blackwood at the moment.

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  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,983
    Scot said:
    So that's why I have trouble believing these claims though obviously the site was right to report this. I would also note, presumably every women has resigned from this intolerably atmosphere and is part of the court case? Because if not you have to ask why not? My guess is this is not as widespread as claimants would have us believe but you create more social media drama and therefore a bigger settlement if you say it is. This is far more likely to be down to specific individuals rather than corporate culture, though that still means the women involved deserve a fair settlement for what has happened.
    This is like asking why children didn't just quit from the textile mills, or why miners didn't just quit when they were given unsafe and inhumane conditions to live and work in.

    Long and short answer, they need money, this is a job, and they will put up with the bullshit for the pay check.

    To get that in a more simple easy to process way, this is also why a Cashier does not punch every Karen they meet in the mouth the second they start into a verbal barrage, because they need the money from the job.
    SharneArglebargleAsm0deusZenJellyKidRiskFTrunks21
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 15,573
    edited July 22
    Ungood said:
    Scot said:
    So that's why I have trouble believing these claims though obviously the site was right to report this. I would also note, presumably every women has resigned from this intolerably atmosphere and is part of the court case? Because if not you have to ask why not? My guess is this is not as widespread as claimants would have us believe but you create more social media drama and therefore a bigger settlement if you say it is. This is far more likely to be down to specific individuals rather than corporate culture, though that still means the women involved deserve a fair settlement for what has happened.
    This is like asking why children didn't just quit from the textile mills, or why miners didn't just quit when they were given unsafe and inhumane conditions to live and work in.

    Long and short answer, they need money, this is a job, and they will put up with the bullshit for the pay check.

    To get that in a more simple easy to process way, this is also why a Cashier does not punch every Karen they meet in the mouth the second they start into a verbal barrage, because they need the money from the job.
    I really don't think you can compare the need for a pay check today in America to that faced by children in the 19th century. But yes, that is a factor, what I find hard to believe is while putting up with it they were not looking for a new job, which in the digital age is extremely easy. Not always easy to get one, but if it was that bad you would keep looking and leave asap. Indeed this may well have happened, if they were only there for months for example, but if we start hearing about years of abuse then there is a question mark.
  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,400
    I want to see proof.  These types of lawsuits now days are starting to smell like ambulance chaser lawsuits.
    foxgirlGorweFrodoFraginsZenJellyKidRiskFTrunks21Tuor7
This discussion has been closed.