Activision Blizzard says 20 employees ‘exited’ in harassment cleanup

Activision Blizzard said more than 20 employees “walked out” of the company and more than 20 other employees were reprimanded over malpractice complaints. The Financial Time reported that the company sent a letter to staff on Tuesday with the details, and compliance officer Frances Townsend told the outlet that the list included game developers and “a few” supervisors but no board members administration. Activision Blizzard then posted the letter online.

Letter describes company attempt to “gain the confidence of our team that when they speak out they will be heard” – following a string of lawsuits accusing Activision Blizzard employees of systematic discrimination and sexist harassment. He says the disciplinary action followed an increase in reports of incidents “from years ago to the present day.” Upon investigation, “as part of various resolved reports, more than 20 people have left Activision Blizzard and more than 20 people have faced other types of disciplinary action.”

In addition to layoffs and reprimands, Activision Blizzard announces that it will add 19 full-time employees to its ethics and compliance team (in addition to the three roles already added) and will triple its investment in training resources, echoing to public promises to improve its compliance. with the laws on protection at work.

Townsend, a former homeland security adviser under George W. Bush’s administration, apparently said FT that an investigation had revealed misconduct in several areas of the company. She said employees were fired if they exhibited “role models” of bad behavior that could not be addressed with training. “It doesn’t matter your rank, your job. If you have committed any kind of misconduct or if you are a leader who has tolerated a culture that is not in line with our values, we will take action, ”she said. FT.

Activision Blizzard’s workplace issues became widely public in July, when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued him for fostering a culture of “constant sexual harassment” that included trial and error, derogatory comments and other behaviors that supervisors have known or “encouraged.” Hundreds of employees staged a walkout to protest his working conditions, and several executives, including Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, later left the company.

Activision Blizzard settled a complaint from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last month, but its legal issues remain unresolved. The company is currently seeking a stay of the DFEH case, accusing the agency of ethics violations that undermine its complaint. California’s employment equity watchdog, in turn, opposed the EEOC settlement, which it said could allow the destruction of evidence in its own case.

Townsend apparently recognized FT that Activision Blizzard has not responded to all demands from protesting employees – who have called, among other things, for an end to binding arbitration for harassment complaints. But she said more changes are coming, saying Activision Blizzard’s board and CEO Bobby Kotick gave her a “blank check” for reform. “We are committed to making meaningful and positive change, and this is just the start,” the letter read. “We will share additional updates in the weeks and months to come. “