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Activision Blizzard accused of shredding evidence to cover up sexual harassment claims

Ed Nightingale August 25, 2021
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Employees of the video game company, Activision Blizzard, hold a walkout and protest rally to denounce the companys response to a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit

Employees of the video game company, Activision Blizzard, hold a walkout and protest rally to denounce the companys response to a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit (Getty)

Activision Blizzard has now been accused by the California government of shredding evidence in the latest news from the sexual harassment lawsuit.

As reported by Axios, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has expanded its lawsuit against the game company to include temporary workers.

The DFEH alleges Activision Blizzard has interfered with the investigation, stating “documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel” in violation of retaining such documents for the investigation.

Further, the DFEH states that Activision Blizzard has required employees to sign NDAs ahead of speaking with the investigators. The hiring of anti-union law firm WilmerHale to internally investigate Activision Blizzard policies additionally reflects a lack of cooperation.

Activision Blizzard has since responded to Kotaku on the issue.

“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,” the statement reads.

The statement includes a list of changes already made internally, including high-level personnel changes, transparency over pay equity, and revamped hiring practices with diverse panels.

“We strive to be a company that recognizes and celebrates the diverse talents and perspectives that lead to the creation of great, globally appealing entertainment. We have provided the DFEH with clear evidence that we do not have gender pay or promotion disparities. Our senior leadership is increasingly diverse, with a growing number of women in key leadership roles across the company.

“We share DFEH’s goal of a safe, inclusive workplace that rewards employees equitably and are committed to setting an example that others can follow.”

A follow-up email to Kotaku additionally denies that evidential papers have been shredded.

The sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit from the DFEH against Activision Blizzard’s “frat boy culture” began in July following a two year investigation.

Since then, multiple stories have emerged including an infamous “Cosby Suite” at Blizzcon and deadnaming of trans employees.

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Related topics: Activision Blizzard, gaming, gaming industry

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