When it rains, it pours: Activision Blizzard just can’t seem to shake the scandals. Still reeling from a bevy of sexual harassment/discrimination lawsuits last year, the company is looking down the barrel of another one less than three months into the new year. This one lists more than 30 defendants.
The Bloom Firm filed a complaint with the Superior Court in Los Angeles on behalf of an anonymous client against Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, three former and two current Blizzard employees, and 25 other unnamed individuals. Charges include two counts of sexual harassment, failure to prevent harassment, sexual favoritism, retaliation, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Several allegations are pointed at Mark Skorupa, a former Blizzard employee now working at parent company Microsoft. Jane Doe was hired as an executive assistant to Skorupa and another Blizzard employee working in the IT department. Doe alleges that Skorupa made sexual advances and inappropriate comments toward her, put his hand in her lap at lunch on her first day, and gave her unwelcomed hugs that lingered too long.
Doe further claims that the HR department disregarded repeated complaints saying that they were just examples of management trying to be “nice.”
“[Human Relations] dismissed Ms. Doe’s sexual misconduct complaints, saying that it was just her leadership being nice and trying to be friends with her,” reads the filing. “HR asked Ms. Doe to keep all of her issues, concerns, recordings, or emails to herself because they could be very damaging to Activision Blizzard.”
Doe also claims she was a victim of retaliation for taking her complaints to HR. She says that Skorupa subsequently made hurtful comments toward her, the company demoted her, and she was denied applications to positions in different departments despite being more qualified than other applicants.
The lawsuit asks the court to award Doe all legal fees and an unspecified amount in damages. Activision and Microsoft have declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Image credit: Magnify by Casimiro PT, Courtroom by Brandon Rush