New lawsuit alleges harassment and retaliation at Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard are facing a new lawsuit this week from an employee who alleges that the company has a “frat boy” culture, including excessive drinking and sexual advances made by supervisors. The employee, named as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, also alleges that she had to accept a lower paid job within the company to escape the sexism, and that she was passed over for better roles after she complained.
The lawsuit filed in California says that Jane Doe was pressured to take tequila shots on her first day, as reported by Bloomberg Law. It also says that she was later pressured to participate in “cube crawls” during which women were subjected to sexual comments and groping.
Doe began to dress “more conservatively” to avoid the harassment, says the suit. When she complained about the excessive drinking and sexual advances, the suit alleges that Doe was told that this “was just her leadership being nice and trying to be friends with her.” Jane Doe was also allegedly told to keep the concerns to herself because they could be “damaging” to the company.
The suit says that Doe applied to other open positions in the company and was rejected, but was eventually offered a role in a different department after writing a letter complaining about the harassment to Blizzard’s then-president J. Allen Brack. The new role was of lower status and salary.
More recently, the suit says that Doe applied for an open executive assistant position at the company but her application was rejected after she spoke about her harassment at a press conference in December.
Many of these complaints mirror those made by other current and former employees of Activision Blizzard, including those found in a lawsuit brought against the company by the State Of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Since then, further allegations of abuse have surfaced, including those involving CEO Bobby Kotick, leading to several employee walkouts.
Since these allegations came to light last year, Microsoft have made moves to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.