California Is Suing Activision Blizzard Over An Alleged ‘Frat Boy’ Culture

Activision Blizzard has come under fire today after a report from Bloomberg News revealed information of a new lawsuit filed by the state of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the gaming giant. As the result of a two-year investigation into the workplace culture that is cultivated at the house of Call of Duty, the DFEH found that Activision Blizzard regularly discriminated against female employees in a number of areas including employment, compensation, assignment, promotion, and termination.

The complaint, which was filed this Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Activision Blizzard has a "pervasive frat boy workplace culture" and mentions something called a "cube crawl" that male employees regularly engage in. This is described as the men drinking "copious amounts of alcohol as they crawl their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees."

Related: Activision Sued For Depiction Of Female Call Of Duty Character

The following statements in the report include some disturbing material. There will be a trigger warning for the following topics: sexual assault, rape, suicide.

The DFEH also alleges that male employees regularly play video games during the workday while shifting responsibilities onto female employees as well as engaging in sexual banter and joking about rape. Female employees interviewed allege that Activision Blizzard has held them back from promotions on the grounds that they might get pregnant, has openly criticized them for picking up their children from daycare, and that the higher-ups kicked them out of the lactation rooms so that the men could hold meetings.

The women interviewed by the DFEH worked within the World of Warcraft team, and allege that male supervisors and staff members hit on them, made derogatory comments about rape, and engaged in demeaning behavior. The suit also includes an incident where a female employee took her own life while on a company trip with her male supervisor. She had been subjected to sexual harassment for an undisclosed amount of time which included having nude photos passed around at a holiday party.

The DFEH is seeking an injunction that will force Activision Blizzard to comply with workplace protections and deliver unpaid wages, pay adjustments, back pay, and lost wages/benefits to its female employees. As of the time of writing, Activision Blizzard has not made any public comment on the lawsuit and Bloomberg has not received any word back.

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