Activision Blizzard has been hit with yet another lawsuit, this time alleging the company’s “frat boy” environment fostered “rampant sexism” that led to a current employee experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination and being “retaliated against” for speaking up.
As reported by Bloomberg, the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Country Superior Court on behalf of this employee who is going by “Jane Doe” by attorney Lisa Bloom.
“For years, Activision Blizzard’s open ‘frat boy’ environment fostered rampant sexism, harassment and discrimination with 700 reported incidents occurring under CEO Robert Kotick’s watch,” the lawsuit reads.
Doe began work at Activision Blizzard in 2017 as a senior administrative assistant to executives in the IT department and the troubles started on her first day. During an “initiation lunch,” she was pressured to take tequila shots and was told by leadership that she would need to tell all the employees at this lunch “an embarrassing secret.”
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Timeline: The Story So Far
Throughout her time at the company, Doe alleged that she was often pressured to drink alcohol, participate in “cube crawls” that saw women be subjected to sexual comments and groping, and play “Jackbox” – a game that often required players to suggest “creative answers” to questions that tended to be sexual in nature.
When she began dressing “more conservatively” so she wouldn’t be as prone to harassment and tried to speak out against the many issues she was facing, she was told that “it was just her leadership being nice and trying to be friends with her.” The suit also alleges she was told to keep these concerns to herself as it could be “damaging” to the company.
Doe would face an ever-increasing hostile work environment after she raised these concerns and many roadblocks in her attempts to switch departments. It was only after she sent a complaint in writing to ex-Blizzard president J. Allen Brack that she got her wish, albeit with a lower status and less pay.
In the suit, the demands include that Acitvision implements a “rotating human resources department to avoid conflicts of interest with management, to retain a neutral investigation firm, and to fire CEO Bobby Kotick, among other demands.” This is in addition to “damages, medical expenses, lost earnings, punitive damages, and a restraining order.”
This is but another chapter in the fallout from Activision Blizzard being sued by California over allegations of “frat boy culture” and sexual harassment.
For more, read about another lawsuit from the family of an Activision Blizzard employee who died by suicide in 2017, how the company says it failed to hire another woman for its board due to Microsoft deal complications, and all the details on Xbox’s intent to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.