Activision Blizzard has been accused by the state of California of destroying documents
The State of California has decided to step up its legal battle against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company’s human resources department of destroying documents relating to employee complaints and internal investigations. The state is seeking damages from the company.
According to o Axios, these documents should have been preserved while the legal investigation is ongoing, but the state of California has also criticized Activision Blizzard for forcing employees to sign agreements that limit their ability to speak freely. Apart from that, he criticizes the involvement of WilmerHale, a company contracted by Activision Blizzard, since he believes that it interferes directly with the company’s efforts.
In response to this, the state of California broadened the scope of the original documents to include temporary employees and contracts as well.
The hiring of WilmerHale has generated a great deal of discussion and criticism, including from Activision Blizzard’s own investors. This is because, by hiring a company to conduct its own internal investigation, Activision Blizzard may be deemed to be interfering with the investigation that was originally launched.
“This firm has a sterling reputation as a defender of the wealthy and connected, but it has no track record of uncovering wrongdoing, the lead investigator does not have in-depth experience investigating workplace harassment and abuse, and the scope of the investigation fails to address the full range of equity issues Mr. Kotick acknowledges,” he said. (source)
The company is being accused of cultivating a work environment that normalizes sexual harassment, unequal pay, and other inappropriate behaviors for a place of employment, according to the lawsuit. Over the course of the last several weeks, Activision Blizzard has put in place a number of measures and has said that it will continue to take the steps necessary to improve its working conditions.
In response to the revisions made to the process by the State of California, Activision Blizzard said that it is implementing a number of changes to its workplaces in order to provide more equitable working conditions for all employees.
Among other things, the company is updating its procurement policies, increasing transparency regarding equal pay, expanding its human resources training programs for employees, restructuring divisions to ensure greater accountability, and improving the processes through which employees evaluate their superiors. “We are committed to ensuring that our employees are treated fairly and equally,” says the CEO.
Even yet, according to Activision Blizzard, the company has the same goal as the state of California: identifying those responsible for the most harmful practices and improving the workplace environment.