Activision Blizzard says it's cooperating with investigations into workplace practices

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says the company is working with regulators who are looking into its workplace practices, despite allegations it attempted to stymie investigations. “While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work,” Kotick said in a press release. “We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”

© Brian Losness / reuters Bobby Kotick returns to the afternoon session of the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S. July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Losness

Kotick claimed that the company is “deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere.” He said there’s no room for “discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment,” while touting Activision Blizzard‘s “extraordinary track record of delivering superior shareholder returns for over 30 years.”

The CEO noted that Activision Blizzard is working with regulators including the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). It’s also cooperating with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.

The DFEH filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard in July. It claimed there was widespread harassment and discrimination at the company and that it had a sexist “frat boy” culture. In an updated filing in August, the DFEH accused the company of interfering with its investigation, claiming that human resources personnel shredded “documents related to investigations and complaints.”

Activision Blizzard workers filed a complaint with the NLRB last week. They accused the company of violating labor law by allegedly intimidating staff out of discussing forced arbitration, which is used to manage disputes. On Monday, the SEC confirmed it’s investigating Activision Blizzard’s workplace practices — Kotick is among those who the agency has subpoenaed.

Meanwhile, Blizzard’s chief legal officer Claire Hart has departed the company. In a LinkedIn post spotted by Game Developer, Hart said she left on Friday after holding the post for over three years. Her departure came just days before the SEC said it’s looking into Blizzard’s parent company.

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