On August 12, Activision Blizzard employees were contacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as the government body begins an investigation into potential violations of discrimination laws within the company.
Current and former employees at all levels of the company were contacted via email and asked to participate in a survey, with each employee being given a unique reference code to ensure the ability to follow up on any claims of discrimination. The email comes after a long, heavily publicized period of internal unrest around working conditions.
The investigation takes place a little over a week after employees at the company shared their salaries in a bid to figure out if they were being paid fairly for their work, a story that was published by Bloomberg.
The email reads:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the U.S. Government agency responsible for enforcing the federal laws against employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and retaliation.
The EEOC is investigating Activision, in regard to allegations of gender-based and/or sexual harassment. The fact that EEOC is conducting an investigation of Activision does not mean there has been a violation of the law.
You are receiving this email because the EEOC received information from Activision that you are a current or former employee. If you personally experienced or witnessed gender-based and/or sexual harassment at Activision, the EEOC would like to speak with you about your experience.
When you access the survey, you will be asked to type in your passcode in order to access the survey. Your passcode is [redacted]. This is your unique passcode. Please do not share your code with others. If you are currently employed by Activision, do not take this survey during work hours or using company-supplied equipment or your work email address. If no longer employed by Activision, response to the survey should be done on personal equipment during nonworking hours.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your participation in the EEOC’s investigation is protected by federal law, and it is a violation of federal law for an employer to retaliate against you because you participate in an EEOC investigation. Your participation in the survey and responses to survey questions are voluntary and not required.
The investigation appears to have been underway for a few months now with some employees having been contacted via letter back in May this year. After the investigation began there were a number of incidents that related specifically to alleged sexual harassment that made it into the public domain.
In June former Senior Manager of Global Business Strategy and Operations of Blizzard, Tyler Rosen, was publicly accused of sexual assault, with claims that Activision Blizzard had been informed of the situation and didn’t act upon it.
The month after popular Call of Duty commentator Philip “Momo” Whitfield was removed from his role within Activison Blizzard’s Call of Duty League after the company was sent evidence of inappropriate messages sent to women within the esports space.
Going further back to January 2019 a former Blizzard employee, Julian Murillo-Cuellar, filed a complaint with the EEOC after he claimed he was racially discriminated against in the workplace.
It isn’t clear if this investigation continuing is related to these incidents becoming public knowledge. We shall update this story as we know more about the investigation’s intentions and findings