Activision, a video games company, known for its most popular video games franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft has been sued for “frat body” culture where female employees and workers are sexually harassed and less paid and promoted than male employees. The lawsuit was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing this Tuesday.
The state agency started their 2-year investigation of the Santa Monica-based business, that has nearly 10,000 employees. The investigation found out the company have constantly discriminated women on various occasions including who make up 20% of its workforce. Female employees get lower starting salary and earn less than male employees , the agency mentioned.
Defendants promote women more slowly and their salary raise is lower than male employees. Female employees get terminated more quickly than male counterparts. Due to these adverse terms, women are forced to leave the company and get no retirement benefits, states the agency in the filed complaint.
The lawsuit also describes a “frat boy” culture inside the company in which male employees engage and celebrate “cube crawls” during the office hours and drink alcohol and crawl their way through team members and often engage in inappropriate behaviors with female employees like touching them, groping and sexual comments, the lawsuit claims.
Activision has been sued many times before with allegations of sexual harassments and inappropriate behaviors at work.
The lawsuit has also mentioned personal experiences from women working at the company. One employee who asked a male supervisor to fairly pay for her additional work got the response “they can’t risk promoting her as she might get pregnant soon and like being mom more than work,” the lawsuit alleges. Many other female employees are constantly criticized for leaving work to pick up their children’s from school. The lawsuit also highlights the death by suicide of a female employee on the company vacation who faced harassments at work including the nude photos circulated by make workers during the vacation party.
The lawsuit is in processing. However, the a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard states “their is no place for sexual harassment and misconduct of any kind in their company, and anyone found doing so should be appropriately punished”. He claims, they take every allegation seriously and investigate on every matter they receive including the discriminations between male and female workers. The spokesperson claims the lawsuit claims are false and they promote fair employment and pay to all their employees.