Employees in California and elsewhere expect certain standards to be met in the workplace. No matter the environment, employees presume their safety and wellbeing is a priority. Thus, when an employee believes that something wrong is going us, it is expected that an employer would take actions to correct it. However, if instances of discrimination or harassment are reported and are not addressed, this could give rise to a legal action.
Discrimination and sexual harassment allegations
Based on recent reports, video game maker, Activision Blizzard, is being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for allegations of gender pay discrimination and for allowing incidents of sexual harassment to go unresolved. This lawsuit followed two years of investigation of the workplace culture at Activision Blizzard, where evidence of sexual harassment and pay inequities were found.
It was asserted that the top executives of the company, all white males, condoned other male employees to mistreat or harass female colleagues. An example of this was drunken cube crawls where male employees drink large quantities of alcohol, crawling their way through various cubicles. During these crawls, it was common for them to engage in inappropriate behaviors towards female employees. Despite making claims to human resources, no officials of the company took meaningful action to improve the workplace environment.
Response to allegations
The maker of World of Warcraft, Call of Duty and other popular games responded to the claims alleged in the lawsuit. They stated that the allegations are inaccurate, insisting that the picture painted of them in the lawsuit is not the Activision Blizzard workplace of today. They further asserted that the fair employment department was supposed to have a good faith discussion with leadership of the company following their investigation, which did not occur.
When an employee believes that they are being discriminated against for their gender or any other protected class or asserts incidents of sexual harassment, it is imperative that they understand their rights and options in the matter. This means protections against retaliation and options to seek damages.