Last month we reported that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for numerous alleged violations. After a two-year investigation, the state accused the publishing giant of cultivating in a “frat boy environment” with horrific results. The company has allegedly discriminated against women in their hiring practices and pay, tolerated and protected sexual harassment and assault, and much more. Thousands of employees signed a petition condemning the company’s dismissive response, and some of them later staged a walk-out. Today we have another development, as the DFEH has expanded its lawsuit, including allegations that HR shredded evidence.
DFEH says Activision Blizzard shredded evidence
Following Activision Blizzard’s repeated denials of wrongdoing, the state of California has expanded the scope of its lawsuit to include temporary workers. Previously, the suit only took employees into consideration. Additionally, they are accusing Activision of interfering with their investigation in multiple ways. Non-disclosure agreements for employees and the hiring of WilmerHale (a law firm known for busting unions) have been listed as points of interference. More seriously, the DFEH claims that Activision Blizzard’s HR department shredded evidence, including “documents related to investigations and complaints.”
Activision Blizzard has issued a series of statements to Kotaku denying pretty much all of this. The company points to “reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe.” They also claim to have provided the DFEH with “clear evidence” that there are no gender pay or promotion disparities. In a follow-up email, they explicitly denied the claims that HR shredded evidence.