Another worker lodges a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard

Plus: Microsoft says it won't stand in the union's way


The lawsuits continue to pile up around Activision-Blizzard. Readers will recall that back in December, an Activision-Blizzard worker identified as Christine held a press conference with her lawyer to publicly recount multiple incidents of sexual harassment, including propositioning from her superiors, that she’d endured at the company. At the time, her demands were that ATVI increase the compensation fund for victims, issue a genuine apology, and hire a neutral third-party assessor to audit the company.

ATVI still hasn’t done any of that, as the proto-unions and strikers can attest, so now the employee has filed a lawsuit in LA County Super Court under the name Jane Doe. Included in the complaint are even more details about the harassment at Activision-Blizzard. The worker was an administrative assistant to IT department execs beginning in 2017; she describes a frat boy culture that has sadly become common in these complaints, with booze, inappropriate games, groping, and sexual advances. When she began to object, dress conservatively, and attempt to escape the environment by transferring to different departments, she was told to stay silent and repeatedly rejected from those roles, she believes in retaliation. Eventually, she complained directly to J Allen Brack and took a demotion to get out.

Most of the lawsuit’s demands are the same as before, though Doe has added damages, lost wages, and the termination of Bobby Kotick to her list. Doe also names several other specific employees (in addition to 25 unnamed employees) whom she alleges engaged in this behavior: including Derek Ingalls, Danny Nguyen, Sonal Patel, Mark Skorupa, and Ben Kilgore, the last of whom was fired in 2018 and is referred to by title in the the original California DFEH lawsuit.

This is the second lawsuit filed against ATVI just in March 2022 alone; earlier this month, the family of the Activision-Blizzard worker allegedly harassed into suicide, Kerri Moynihan, by her manager, Greg Restituito, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company.

In other Activision-Blizzard news, this week a majority of Activision’s Raven Software QA workers petitioned Microsoft following Activision-Blizzard’s SEC filing that suggested ATVI would need Microsoft’s approval to recognize their union. And Microsoft has already said it won’t “stand in the way.”

“Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions,” Microsoft VP and general counsel Lisa Tanzi told The Washington Post last night.

Source: Bloomberg, lawsuit, WAPO. Cheers, cursedseishi!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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