An ex-Activision Blizzard employee has filed a lawsuit alleging that older white male employees were discriminated against by the company. According to the lawsuit, the former CEO, Bobby Kotick, made a controversial statement at a leadership conference, implying that the company had “too many old white guys,” which led to a culture of discrimination at Activision Blizzard.
Allegations and Lawsuit Details
The lawsuit, brought forward by an anonymous 57-year-old white man who worked at Activision Blizzard from 2014 until his layoff in 2023, accuses the company of systematically dismissing older, higher-paid staff while prioritizing profits over its employees. The plaintiff also claims that he faced unfair treatment, including being overlooked for a promotion and being subjected to a hostile work environment by a younger, non-white manager.
The former employee filed a complaint with the Human Resources department, alleging that the company failed to protect him from discriminatory and defamatory statements made by his colleagues. He also contends that his layoff, alongside several other employees over the age of 47, was not solely a result of a company-wide restructuring, but potentially a retaliatory action, violating California’s whistleblower protection laws.
The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress, damage to his reputation, wrongful termination, and the negative impact on his career progression. Additionally, he is demanding that Activision Blizzard be responsible for his legal expenses incurred during this process.
Activision Blizzard’s Response
Activision Blizzard has responded to media coverage surrounding the lawsuit by pointing to their equal employment opportunity policy. This lawsuit comes on the heels of a substantial settlement of over $56 million USD that Activision Blizzard agreed to in order to address claims of unequal pay and promotion practices alleged to have occurred between 2015 and 2020.
What is the plaintiff seeking in the lawsuit?
The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress, damage to his reputation, wrongful termination, and the negative impact on his career progression. He is also demanding that Activision Blizzard be responsible for his legal expenses incurred during this process.
What was Activision Blizzard’s response to the lawsuit?
Activision Blizzard has pointed to their equal employment opportunity policy in response to the media coverage surrounding the lawsuit.
What allegations are made in the lawsuit?
The lawsuit alleges that the company systematically dismissed older, higher-paid staff, prioritizing profits over its employees. It also claims that the plaintiff faced unfair treatment, including being overlooked for a promotion and being subjected to a hostile work environment.
The lawsuit against Activision Blizzard highlights the ongoing challenges and controversies facing the gaming industry in terms of workplace culture and discrimination. As the case unfolds, it will be essential for companies in the industry to address and rectify any discriminatory practices to ensure a fair and inclusive work environment for all employees.