Activision Blizzard has been accused by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) of "withholding and suppressing" evidence" in an update to its lawsuit that was first filed in July. 

The DFEH has also accused Activision Blizzard of suppressing employees' ability to freely speak by signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), waivers, and even secret settlements, according to a report. 

Activision Blizzard Accused of Interfering in Lawsuit 

The lawsuit that California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed in July has been updated to include an accusation that Activision Blizzard "has interfered with its investigation," according to Axios.

The game maker has been accused by the DFEH of "repeatedly cloaking the 'receipt or investigation of employment discrimination and harassment complaints in attorney-client 'privilege,' then withholding and suppressing evidence from the governmental department charged with investigating and remedying such complaints" in the updated lawsuit, which can be read in a report by The Verge

The update to the lawsuit comes after Activision Blizzard promised to improve the work environment for female employees of the company. 

The report by Axios also noted that "throughout the lawsuit, the word 'employees' has been changed to 'workers' in reference to harassment, sex discrimination regarding pay and other allegations."

Harassment Lawsuit Against Activision Blizzard

Blizzard walkout
(Photo : Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Irvine, CA - July 28: Several hundred Activision Blizzard employees stage a walkout which they say is in a response from company leadership to a lawsuit highlighting alleged harassment, inequality, and more within the company outside the gate at Activision Blizzard headquarters on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 in Irvine, CA.

The lawsuit that California's DFEH filed in Activision Blizzard in July stems from the constant sexual harassment and discrimination female employees of the company have been facing, according to a separate report by The Verge

The DFEH harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleges that female employees have compared working conditions in the company to "working in a frat house." 

Instances of sexual harassment experienced by female employees of Activision Blizzard include "cube crawls" where male employees drunkenly "crawl" through cubicles in the office to grope female co-workers, unwanted sexual comments and advancements, and blatant sexual harassment by high-ranking executives. 

The lawsuit also alleges that female employees of Activision Blizard experience discrimination and retaliation from male co-workers. 

According to the lawsuit, female employees have been discouraged from making reports about their experiences due to the fact that the HR staff of Activision Blizzard is known to be close to the harassers. In fact, the HR department of Activision Blizzard is "not held in high regard."

Related Article: T-Mobile Allegedly Terminates 'Call of Duty,' 'Overwatch' Partnerships Due To Activision Blizzard Harassment Accusations

Sexual Harassment in Gaming Companies

Activision Blizzard is not the only gaming company known to be involved in a harassment lawsuit. 

California's DFEH filed a similar one against Riot Games, the company known for "League of Legends" and "Valorant," just last year. Riot Games was initially supposed to do a $10 million settlement, but the DFEH "suggested it should be $400 million or more," according to The Verge.

It has also been reported a couple of days ago that Ubisoft Singapore is under investigation for workplace misconduct. 

Also Read: Electronic Arts has Released its Statement Regarding Sexual Misconduct in the Gaming Community

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Written by Isabella James

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