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Activision Blizzard employees to walk out over executive response to lawsuit

Activison Blizzard employees are staging a walkout, demanding better response from executives over lawsuit.

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Activision Blizzard employees will walk out and host a protest in front of Blizzard Entertainment HQ on July 28 in Irvine, CA over the company’s executive response to the harassment lawsuit.

Employees will go to Irvine, CA Blizzard HQ on July 28 from 10AM PT – 2PM PT to protest and strike against the company over their lack of proper response to the lawsuit.

“We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the organizers said.

The group sent the following statement of intent:

Given last week’s statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, and the many stories shared by current and former employees of Activision Blizzard since, we believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.

As current Activision Blizzard employees, we are holding a walkout to call on the executive leadership team to work with us on the following demands, in order to improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.”

In addition, the group asked all employees of Activision Blizzard to not work on July 28, from 9am PT to 6pm PT in protest of the company’s leadership.

The group of employees who have organized this have also listed their demands from the company’s executives, as shared by IGN:

  • An end to mandatory arbitration clauses in all employee contracts, current and future. Arbitration clauses protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution.
  • The adoption of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and promotion policies designed to improve representation among employees at all levels, agreed upon by employees in a company-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion organization. Current practices have led to women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups that are vulnerable to gender discrimination not being hired fairly for new roles when compared to men.
  • Publication of data on relative compensation (including equity grants and profit sharing), promotion rates, and salary ranges for employees of all genders and ethnicities at the company. Current practices have led to aforementioned groups not being paid or promoted fairly.
  • Empower a company-wide Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion task force to hire a third party to audit ABK’s reporting structure, HR department, and executive staff. It is imperative to identify how current systems have failed to prevent employee harassment, and to propose new solutions to address these issues.

Employees have asked those who cannot attend the protest should do so online with the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout.

Activision Blizzard employees have remained persistent in their demand for better responses from the executive team over the harassment allegations in the lawsuit.

Employees sent a letter, with over 2,000 current and former employees signing it, demanding Activision Blizzard executives issue a proper response and provide a better way to reach a solution.

Activision Blizzard’s only public statement on the lawsuit called the allegations “distorted” which was dismissed by employees. Their statement said the lawsuit from California DFEH “includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past.”

The company’s Chief Compliance Officer, Fran Townsend, sent an internal email which caused further backlash internally. She stated the lawsuit “presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories – some from more than a decade ago.”

Activision Blizzard spokesperson has not responded to requests for comments.

The employee organization group have also shared lists of charities to donate to, in order to help those experiencing discrimination in work place.

Activision Blizzard’s social media empire has still remained silent, with no posts from Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and more.