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Activision Blizzard Accused By California Of Shredding Abuse Evidence

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has updated its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the gaming giant of destroying evidence pertinent to the investigation.


In an update to its anti-discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has accused the video game conglomerate of shredding evidence related to the investigation.

According to Axios, the DFEH said Activision Blizzard has engaged in activity that made it noncompliant with the investigation. The DFEH called out the company's human resource personnel for tearing up documents, which it says violates Activision Blizzard's legal obligations to retain pertinent information.

The department also called attention to the hiring of law firm WilmerHale and said requiring employees to speak to the company before going to the DFEH "directly interferes" with the agency's ability to "investigate, prosecute, and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations on behalf of employees and contingent or temporary workers."

The amended lawsuit also changes its classification of the group that it claims Activision Blizzard discriminated against. Axios noted that the word "employees" has been replaced with "workers" to include contract or temporary workers the company periodically shuffles through for projects.

When reached for comment about destroying evidence, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said the claims were false and that the company "took appropriate steps" to retain relevant information.

"With regards to claims that we have destroyed information by shredding documents, those claims are not true. We took appropriate steps to preserve information relevant to the DFEH investigation," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said over email.

The spokesperson also sent over a broader, more comprehensive statement tackling the entirety of the DFEH's lawsuit. In the statement, Activision Blizzard said it has "complied with every proper request" to not only aid the agency's investigation but also to implement "reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee." You can read the full statement below.

Throughout our engagement with the DFEH, we have complied with every proper request in support of its review even as we had been implementing reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee. Those changes continue today, and include:

· Several high-level personnel changes;

· Revamped hiring and recruiting practices requiring diverse interview panels;

· Greater transparency on pay equity;

· Expanded and improved training and investigative capabilities for human resource and compliance staff;

· Created investigation teams outside of business units to support greater independence;

· Restructured divisions to support greater accountability;

· Enhanced review processes to include evaluation of managers by employees;

· Clear boundaries on workplace behavior with a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and other actions that diminish or marginalize.

We strive to be a company that recognizes and celebrates the diverse talents and perspectives that lead to the creation of great, globally appealing entertainment. We have provided the DFEH with clear evidence that we do not have gender pay or promotion disparities. Our senior leadership is increasingly diverse, with a growing number of women in key leadership roles across the company.

We share DFEH’s goal of a safe, inclusive workplace that rewards employees equitably and are committed to setting an example that others can follow.

For more on the DFEH's sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, check out our rundown of everything that's happened so far.

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