Activison Blizzard employees are staging a walkout on Wednesday, July 28th in response to the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations brought by the state of California. Employees will meet outside Blizzard’s main campus in Irvine at 10AM PST. “We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership,” the organizers said in a statement.
The news comes after California sued the renowned gaming studio and its publisher, saying women were subjected to constant sexual harassment and discrimination at work. One female employee allegedly died by suicide after having nude photos of her passed around the office. Following the suit, numerous employees took to Twitter to detail additional examples of harassment and discrimination. Former Blizzard president Mike Morhaime also issued a statement saying “I am extremely sorry that I failed you.”
The company denied the allegations, saying the lawsuit was merely “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”
More than 2,600 employees have signed a letter slamming the company’s response.
Now, employees are putting forward four demands as part of the walkout:
- An end to forced arbitration clauses in all employee contracts — a change Google employees successfully fought for in 2019.
- New hiring and promotion processes to increase representation across the company. Employees say that “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.”
- The publication of salary and promotion data “for employees of all genders and ethnicities at the company.”
- Allow a diversity, equity, and inclusion task force to hire a third-party organization to audit the 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 say.
Employees who can’t attend the walkout in person are being asked to use the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout to lend their support online.