Activision Blizzard claims investigation found no “evidence” of leadership ignoring harassment

Activision Blizzard claims investigation found no "evidence" of leadership ignoring harassment

Activision Blizzard has faced multiple legal challenges, brought on by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), over its workplace culture and handling of harassment claims. The publisher’s board of directors says it has now concluded its own investigation, and while it acknowledges individual cases of harassment, it says the investigation found no evidence of systemic problems at the leadership level.

“Senior executives at Activision Blizzard responded in a timely manner and with integrity and resolve to improve the workplace,” reads the report. “While there are some substantiated cases of gender-based harassment, those unfortunate circumstances do not support the conclusion that Activision’s senior management or the Board were aware of and condoned gender-based harassment or that there was ever a systemic problem with harassment, discrimination or retaliation.”

Specifically, the report says there is “no evidence” that top executives intentionally ignored or downplayed reported gender-based harassment, withheld information from the Board, or that the Board itself ignored or downplayed harassment. He concludes that the criticism of top executives “as insensitive to labor issues has no merit.”

The report also cites an independent review by Gilbert Casellas, former EEOC chairman and authority on workplace bullying. Casellas reviewed data and reports from September 1, 2016 to December 31, 2021. “Mr. Casellas concluded that there was no pervasive bullying, pattern or practice of bullying, or systemic bullying at Activision Blizzard or any of its its business units during that period. term,” the report states. “Mr. Casellas further concluded that based on the volume of reports, the amount of misconduct reflected is comparatively low for a company the size of Activision Blizzard.”

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The report concludes by stating that their agreement with the EEOC is available for employees to file claims, and all claims are made directly through the EEOC. It suggests that the media has also unfairly attacked the company.

“We recognize that none of these improvements can change the past of those who experienced inappropriate conduct in the workplace,” he says. “Over the years, the company has appropriately disciplined and discharged employees to ensure that our practices align with our policies. There simply is no place at Activision Blizzard for anyone who does not practice our corporate value of providing a safe workplace. safe, inclusive and welcoming that serves as a model for our industry.

It also ends on a note that looks to the future. “We understand that moving forward includes addressing issues from the past. The EEOC’s consent decree, with transparency, enhanced mental health benefits for any victim of stalking (regardless of where they were employed when those events occurred), as well as the compensation provides, it’s just part of that effort.

This may not satisfy the suspicions that follow the company, given that it is the conclusion of investigations that were driven by Activision itself. It is also unknown how or if this report could affect ongoing lawsuits against Activision, as the California DFEH lawsuit is still ongoing. The Securities Exchange Commission also launched its own investigation in September. This all comes as Microsoft looks to finalize its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

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