Only two months after the state of California filed a lawsuit against gaming giant Activision Blizzard, best known for making games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, for alleged sexual harassment and discrimination in its workplace, a US federal agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is investigating the company over workplace practices and disclosures.
The investigation includes how the gaming firm handled employee’s allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story. This includes how quickly Activision Blizzard disclosed the allegations to investors.
The SEC has subpoenaed the company, as well as several current and former employees, including CEO Bobby Kotick.
According to reporting by the New York Times, Activision Blizzard is cooperating with the investigation.
Kotick said in a release: “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind.
“While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”
This comes on the back of labor complaints being filed against Activision Blizzard linked with the California lawsuit and the company’s response to the suit, which employees have vehemently criticized and led to a number of Activision Blizzard executives, including J Allen Brack and global head of HR Jesse Meschuk, leaving the company.
Earlier in September, labor union Communication Workers of America and employee activist group A Better ABK filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard with the National Labor Relations Board that accused the company of intimidating workers.
The complaint said: “Within the last six months the above named employer has repeatedly engaged in unlawful conduct by threatening employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed by Section 7.”
It continued to say that employees were threatened and told not to talk about wages, hours or working conditions and the company “maintained an overly broad social media policy”, as well as “enforced the social media policy against employees who have engaged in protected concerted activity”.
In addition, the complaint alleged that Activision Blizzard “threatened or disciplined employees on account of protected concerted activity, engaged in surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity and engaged in interrogation of employees about protected concerted activity.”
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