Activision Blizzard ‘withholding and suppressing evidence’ says updated lawsuit
The state of California has accused Activision Blizzard of shredding documents, as its lawsuit is amended to include temporary workers.
The lawsuit brought by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) hasn’t even gone to court yet and it’s still managed to turn Activision Blizzard, and the rest of the games industry, on its head.
Hopefully, the exposure of sexist and racist discrimination will eventually result in positive change, but it seems Activision Blizzard is fighting things all the way, despite claiming they wanted to make the company ‘a safe, productive work environment for all’.
An updated version of the lawsuit, first noted by Axios, now lists temporary workers as well as full-time staff as being victims of harassment and discrimination, while claiming that Activision Blizzard has tried to ensure employees sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before speaking to the DFEH.
The amended version of the lawsuit criticises the involvement of law firm WilmerHale and claims that Activision Blizzard’s actions ‘directly interferes’ with the DFEH’s ability to ‘investigate, prosecute, and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations’.
It even alleges that ‘documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel’ and that as a result the company has been ‘withholding and suppressing evidence’.
WilmerHale is the same ‘union-busting’ law firm favoured by Amazon, and Activision Blizzard staff have already taken to Twitter to both reiterate the complaints of document shredding and calling for employees to unionise.
In a statement to IGN, Activision Blizzard denies any document shredding took place and that it took ‘appropriate steps to preserve information relevant to the DFEH investigation’.
‘Throughout our engagement with the DFEH, we have complied with every proper request in support of its review even as we had been implementing reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee’, claimed a spokesperson.
Initially, Activision Blizzard indicated it would fight the lawsuit but quickly backed down and instead a number of key staff from Blizzard, including its president, have stepped down in the last few weeks.
However, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been repeatedly criticised for underplaying the concerns, with his eventual statement on the lawsuit described by shareholders as not going ‘nearly far enough’.
California turning up the heat on Activision Blizzard, as @Megan_Nicolett and I report. They filed an amended complaint against AB yesterday, adding temp workers to the people on whose behalf they’re suing.
Plus, an 11th cause of action https://t.co/NszBmPbCvP pic.twitter.com/eaMFk75eYj
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