DFEH says Activision Blizzard interfering with workplace investigation

Activision Blizzard Share
Activision Blizzard Share (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard is currently facing a lawsuit.
  • The lawsuit alleges systemic sexist workplace behavior and abuse.
  • A new report indicates Activision Blizzard human resources shredded documents related to this investigation.
  • California is expanding its lawsuit to include temporary workers as well as full-time employees.

Update, Aug. 25 (4:25 pm ET): Activision Blizzard issued a statement, saying it has "complied with every proper request."

As shared by Axios, Activision Blizzard HR reportedly shredded documents related to the recent investigation. This two-year investigation explored complaints of a sexist workplace environment and abuse, resulting in a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

The State of California is expanding its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, amending its complaints to add in temporary workers, who are also protected against harassment and receive equal pay opportunities. The amended complaint notes that the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) was "informed and aware that documents and records have not been maintained as required by law," while alleging that "documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel."

In response to this ongoing lawsuit, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack left the company, with Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra now co-leading Blizzard Entertainment. Oneal and Ybarra are known for their work leading Vicarious Visions and at Xbox, respectively.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said the company's initial response to the lawsuit was "tone deaf" and noted that any leadership who "impeded the integrity of our processes" would be let go. Following these statements, several high-level Activision Blizzard developers have also been removed from the company, including the director of Diablo 4 and level designer Jesse McCree. Activision Blizzard employees note that their demands have not yet been met.

Activision Blizzard is a large gaming publisher, with several upcoming titles including Call of Duty: Vanguard, Diablo 2: Resurrected and Diablo 4.

Update, Aug. 25 (4:25 pm ET) — Activision Blizzard pushes back

Activision Blizzard issued a statement to IGN, saying that ""With regards to claims that we have destroyed information by shredding documents, those claims are not true. We took appropriate steps to preserve information relevant to the DFEH investigation."

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.