According to the Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its own inquiry following Activision Blizzard’s “reaction” to charges of sexual misbehavior and workplace harassment.
According to the newspaper, the SEC asked the publisher for a variety of papers, including CEO Bobby Kotick’s conversations with other high-level officials about the allegations. Furthermore, the regulator wants to see separation agreements with employees who departed this year, personal information on six former employees, and a conference call from board meetings held two years ago.
Activision Blizzard’s representative stated that the business was working with the SEC’s inquiry, noting that the agency had subpoenaed past and current workers.
“We have made and are making a lot of key adjustments to strengthen our policies and procedures to ensure that there is no place at our organization for any type of discrimination, harassment, or uneven treatment,” the spokesman stated.
The SEC is looking into whether Activision Blizzard was required to notify investors about the inquiry into the gender and workplace pay disparity accusations before it was made public by a Department of Fair Labor complaint and California Housing open in July.
Activision Blizzard stated at the time of the lawsuit’s filing that it had been “very cooperative with the DFEH during its investigation,” and that the complaint was erroneous, twisted, hurried, and “in many cases false.”
Activision Blizzard shareholders evidently believe they should have been notified sooner, since they launched a complaint against the publisher last month, alleging that the business “made false and/or misleading representations and/or failed to disclose” a number of important facts concerning the DFEH purchase.
Meanwhile, the DFEH broadened its case, accusing the publisher of tampering with evidence, tearing up documents, coercing witnesses, investigating and violating its own employees’ labor rights.
This prompted Communications Workers of America to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Activision Blizzard was using illegal union-busting tactics on key executives such as Blizzard President J. Allen Brack and Jesse Meschuk, SVP of Activision Blizzard’s Global HR, who left the company following very serious accusations.
Furthermore, The Wall Street Journal says that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been conducting its own investigations into Activision.
Since at least May 2020, the EEOC has been investigating charges of gender harassment against the publisher and is in talks with Activision, which could wind up having to pay more than $500 million in damages.
The agency declined to respond to the WSJ, and it is unclear whether the details of its conclusions will be made public.