SEC opens investigation into Activision Blizzard's workplace practices

Daniel Sims

Posts: 168   +9
Staff
Why it matters: The Securities and Exchange Commission has started investigating Activision Blizzard's handling of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment allegations. The game publisher has already been dealing with a lawsuit from the state of California over a complaint from a workers' group over the same allegations.

Sources and documents reveal that this is part of a broad investigation. The SEC has subpoenaed the company and some of its executives, including CEO Bobby Kotick.

According to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the SEC is asking for information, including Activision board meeting minutes since 2019, employee separation agreements, and the personnel files of six former employees. It also wants records of Kotick's communications with other executives concerning discrimination and sexual harassment allegations that got Activision Blizzard sued by California and led to several major company departures.

Earlier this summer, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing opened a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for being host to a "frat boy" culture where harassment and discrimination occurred. The company's response sparked an employee walkout. Later, the president of Blizzard and some game designers who were implicated in the harassment left the company. Activision games like Call of Duty and Overwatch lost sponsorships from T-Mobile and other companies, and the US Army.

Earlier this month, the Communications Workers of America filed a complaint supporting the employees after the company was accused of impeding the DFEH's investigation. Activision Blizzard was accused of shredding documents and placing employees under strict surveillance.

Image credit: Dinosaur918 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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texasrattler

Posts: 1,228   +577
Damn, not gonna go well for Activision. They did it to themselves tho.
Let's hope things get better for the employees n the company. It's 2021, let's start putting hatred n discrimination in the past.
The world has a chance to start fresh, it's now or never.
 

brucek

Posts: 941   +1,363
How is this a matter for the SEC in particular and what is wrong with the already existing investigation and lawsuit? Or does every investigative agency want to take some of the credit for themselves? Will it be the DEA and ATF next?
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,351   +7,163
Sounds like this administration is starting to get serious about so many of these infractions. And these companies wonder why so many want to unionize ...... hard to believe they are that unaware ...
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,081   +1,628
TechSpot Elite
How is this a matter for the SEC in particular and what is wrong with the already existing investigation and lawsuit? Or does every investigative agency want to take some of the credit for themselves? Will it be the DEA and ATF next?

Everyone’s gotta look like they’re doing something - particularly in this government it’s all political, who cares actual results of what your “governance” accomplishes.

Look at the FDA. They’ve been useless regulating themselves for decades let alone private organizations. They have numerous processes & federal guidance that is so vague the ‘interpretation’ of a violation drastically changes from each FDA auditor you talk to. It’s a joke.
 

Superconductor

Posts: 64   +73
Sounds like this administration is starting to get serious about so many of these infractions. And these companies wonder why so many want to unionize ...... hard to believe they are that unaware ...

So many want to Unionize? You do realize that unions have been shrinking overall for years... right?
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,411   +3,525
Their new CoD lineup seems pretty Diverse & Inclusive so perhaps SEC will let them off the hook?
Adding more underrepresented minority diverse groups or whatever the **** they're called these days in their WWII games will surely convince everyone abusing their workers is an exception not the rule.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,351   +7,163
So many want to Unionize? You do realize that unions have been shrinking overall for years... right?

Shows how out of touch you are junior ..... that may have once been true, but no more, they are on the rebound again and with the endorsement of the current administration they will only get bigger.
 

eforce

Posts: 571   +720
Shows how out of touch you are junior ..... that may have once been true, but no more, they are on the rebound again and with the endorsement of the current administration they will only get bigger.
And strangle what's left of the economy.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 480   +410
Everyone’s gotta look like they’re doing something - particularly in this government it’s all political, who cares actual results of what your “governance” accomplishes.

Look at the FDA. They’ve been useless regulating themselves for decades let alone private organizations. They have numerous processes & federal guidance that is so vague the ‘interpretation’ of a violation drastically changes from each FDA auditor you talk to. It’s a joke.
Slacker family with regards to Perdue comes to mind, help kill 250k+people simply buy off the government.