Activision Blizzard accuses the California DFEH of unfairly damaging the company’s reputation for its allegations of harassment.
In July of last year, it was revealed that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or DFEH was filing a lawsuit against the game publisher. Activision Blizzard for alleged sexual harassment and “fraternity boy” culture found at the company. Since the allegations surfaced, there have been many developments in the case against the call to action and world of warcraft editors, with new lawsuits being initiated, and calls for CEO Bobby Kotick to step down.
Recently, Activision Blizzard tried to file the case. He asked a state court to dismiss the lawsuit against him because Activision Blizzard believes the DFEH did not properly investigate his claims prior to the filing of the lawsuit. Additionally, the DFEH is accused of failing to negotiate a resolution or mediate with the company prior to taking legal action against Activision Blizzard. This essentially means that Activision Blizzard believes the DFEH has broken its own rules by not following due process.
Activision Blizzard also wants the lawsuit against it to be dropped due to the “unfair harm” it caused to the company’s representation. While this is pretty subjective, it’s possible to see damage done to Activision Blizzard through another lawsuit brought by the company’s investors, who believe it could have warned them about the impact on their stock value. However, this lawsuit against Activision Blizzard was dismissed by a California judge.
In April, Activision Blizzard requested that the DFEH case against it be put on hold due to a conflict with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. The EEOC’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard was quickly resolved as it came to an end in September, resulting in an $18 million settlement and promises to fix the damage caused by the discrimination. The DFEH was unhappy with the speedy nature of the EEOC’s lawsuit, believing it could undermine its own case against the publisher. While the EEOC and DFEH reached an agreement, Activision Blizzard wanted the case to be put on hold, but it was denied despite an alleged conflict of interest.
In order for the case’s request to be dismissed, Activision Blizzard also referenced the EEOC case, as the publisher believes the DFEH has lightly stepped on the EEOC’s toes. The DFEH previously agreed to focus on allegations of gender discrimination around pay and promotions, while the EEOC would take charge of the harassment allegations. However, Activision Blizzard believes the DFEH case is looking to include everything the former is accused of. So far, there has been no response from the DFEH, however the agency has stated that it would make a statement in its court documents.
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