Activision Blizzard Urges California Court To Dismiss DFEH Lawsuit

Activision Blizzard requested that a California court dismiss a lawsuit previously filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the game company in July 2021. In a motion for summary adjudication (provided by the Bloomberg Act) filed In Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, Activision claimed that the DFEH failed to properly investigate leveraged claims against the company before filing a lawsuit last summer.

In the filing, the company outlined three steps that DFEH must take to file a lawsuit: It must thoroughly investigate any identified claim, work to negotiate a resolution to any claim supported by the investigation, and then attempt to mediate a resolution to any claim. unresolved claims. According to Activision, the DFEH failed to carry out the last two steps, which the company says should justify dismissal of the lawsuit.

“DFEH is not permitted to bring or maintain litigation under FEHA until it follows the steps outlined above, nor is this Court given jurisdiction over such claims until the agency does so. Failure to meet statutory requirements mandates termination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (‘FEHA’),” the filing read.

According to the filing, the DFEH and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) worked together on the investigation. The former was assigned to investigate claims of gender discrimination, while the latter investigated claims related to workplace harassment and related retaliation.

Activision claimed that a day after the EEOC, which began its investigation first, concluded its investigation, the DFEH moved quickly to complete its investigation and sue despite “earlier indications that it still needed a great deal of additional information to complete.” your investigation”. The company claimed that this action was done as part of a “turf war” between the two agencies, and further claimed that the DFEH’s actions “unfairly damaged” Activision’s reputation in the public eye.

A decision has not yet been reached on whether the case will be dismissed.

The EEOC’s lawsuit against the company was previously settled in late March for $18 million, which is a comparatively paltry sum for a company Microsoft is trying to buy for nearly $70 billion.

This is the latest development in what has been a long series of legal and organizational moves by Activision in the wake of its sexual harassment scandal, which came to light last summer. Since the scandal became public, the company has attempted to regain public favor by converting contract employees to full-time employees, as well as creating new positions aimed at promoting a diverse workforce.

However, the actions of company leaders appear to be in direct opposition to Activision’s goal of cultivating a “welcoming, safe, and law-abiding workplace,” as stated in the filing. Earlier this month, the company’s board urged shareholders to vote against the publication of an annual report on workplace misconduct. Additionally, New York City officials recently moved to sue the company alleging that CEO Bobby Kotick, who is embroiled in quite a few controversies of his own, rushed the company’s merger with Xbox to escape liability stemming from the aforementioned allegations of workplace misconduct at the publisher.