Activision Blizzard employees to strike outside HQ over fair treatment

Alan Bernal

Activision Blizzard employees will stage a walkout on Wednesday, July 28, in protest of the company’s response to the discrimination lawsuit, organizers have said.

In a Bloomberg report, employees signaled the intent to walkout of the Blizzard HQ in Irvine, CA, to reinforce their support of the lawsuit by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard.

An open letter was signed by more than 2,600 current and former Activision Blizzard staff as of July 27, roughly 27% of the 9,500 employees the company filed to the state, a CNN report says.

Employees will walkout of Blizzard HQ with a list of demands after the company’s response to DFEH suit.

Organizers for the walkout scheduled the one-day strike from 10am to 2pm PST, while a virtual walkout will also take place for employees that can’t be present on campus from 9am to 6pm PST, IGN reports.

The report also includes a list of four actionable employee demands, one of which wants to end “clauses [that] protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution.”

Activision Blizzard employee demands:

  • 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.

This follows a litany of action from Activision Blizzard staff members against the studio after a DFEH lawsuit detailed the “frat boy” culture and those it harmed inside the company.

Activision Blizzard said that the lawsuit against them was “distorted, and in many cases, false.”

Former company leaders like Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime published a statement saying he had “failed” the women at the company during his time there.

The walkout by Activision Blizzard employees comes after an official company response to the lawsuit claimed the allegations against it were “distorted, and in many cases, false.”