Activision Blizzard has stated at least 40 employees have been disciplined — with more than 20 being fired — following multiple lawsuits regarding their workplace culture. The company stated “we need to do more, and with a renewed urgency”.
Activision Blizzard are currently facing multiple lawsuits — one from the State of California and another labor complaint from the Communication Workers of America union — surrounding their “pervasive frat-boy culture”.
The first lawsuit, filed in July, followed a two-year investigation which claims the company “was akin to working in a frat house, which invariably involved male employees drinking and subjecting female employees to sexual harassment with no repercussion”.
Since then, the company has undergone numerous personnel changes and promised to implement new policies to combat workplace harassment.
In an October 19 internal memo, Activision Blizzard’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Fran Townsend, said “we are working tirelessly to ensure that, moving forward, this is a place where people are not only heard, but empowered.”
Activision Blizzard’s new policies reportedly increase transparency
The company has highlighted three key themes they must address: Firing employees “who fail to contribute to a positive culture”, being transparent, and investing resources into training.
Townsend claimed over 40 Activision Blizzard employees had faced some form of “disciplinary action” following the initial set of reports. More than 20 of those have left the company.
Activision Blizzard is also working to be more transparent about those investigations.
“We know there’s a desire to know about the outcome when misconduct is reported. Sometimes, there are privacy reasons we can’t share. But where we can, we will be sharing more information with you,” Townsend said.
The third arm of Blizzard’s new policies is training employees at all levels in a “meaningful” way.
“We are preparing to triple our investment in training resources…covering bystander training, speaking up, and training managers to recognize concerns and understand their obligations to escalate situations urgently and appropriately,” Townsend said.
Blizzard claims workplace harassment reports have increased
Townsend’s memo also claimed that reports of harassment at Activision Blizzard have also increased in recent months.
“People are bringing to light concerns, ranging from years ago to the present. We welcome these reports, and our team has been working to investigate them, using a combination of internal and external resources.”
The company plans on implementing more changes in future months based on employee feedback.