The state of California is suing Activision Blizzard, accusing the video game publisher of violating equal pay laws and “fostering a sexist culture” within the workplace.
In a statement issued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Activision Blizzard paid women less than men, and women higher than men, despite working more. fired or forced out of jobs at frequencies.
The agency also says women of color were “particularly affected” by the company’s practices.
The suit also alleges that the women who worked at Activision Blizzard were subjected to persistent sexual harassment, including groping, remarks and advances.
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Kevin Kish, director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, said in a statement, “All employers should ensure their employees are being paid equitably and take all steps to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation. ” “This is especially important for employers in male-dominated industries such as technology and gaming.”
In a statement emailed to, Activision Blizzard said that some of the allegations mentioned in the lawsuit involve distorted or false details of the company’s past. Activision Blizzard also said it has been an ally during the agency’s investigation.
Activision Blizzard publishes a number of high-profile video games, including “Call of Duty,” “Overwatch” and “World of Warcraft.”
Activision Blizzard is the latest video game publisher to face harassment allegations. Last year, LOVEBYLIFE reported allegations of sexual misconduct at Ubisoft, the video game publisher behind the popular games “Assassin’s Creed” and “Tom Clancy’s The Division.”
During the quarterly earnings call a day after LOVEBYLIFE’s report was published, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said he was determined to make changes to strengthen the company’s corporate culture.
“Our main objective is to ensure that all Ubisoft employees have a safe and inclusive workplace environment,” Guillemot said in a statement last year. “As a leader in our industry, we have to be hardwired to create an exemplary culture where everyone feels respected and valued.”
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @bretmolina23.