Activision Blizzard moves to state court asking to dismiss DFEH sexual harassment lawsuit

Activision Blizzard on Tuesday released a statement in which the company had asked the state court to dismiss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against it by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

“We are moving to dismiss the DFEH’s Complaint because the agency violated its own rules, acted in bad faith, and undermined its authority to file this lawsuit,” said Activision Blizzard in a statement. 

Our motion comes just days after we joined the EEOC in opposing the sixth attempt by the DFEH to disrupt the federal settlement reached with the EEOC that already is helping Activision build a better and more inclusive workplace and providing relief and closure to current and former employees.

Activision Blizzard in a filing in the Los Angeles Superior Court said that the DFEH failed to properly investigate claims prior to the filing of the lawsuit. The company also argued that the DFEH failed to mediate and negotiate a resolution with the company before filing the sexual harassment lawsuit last year. Activision Blizzard also said that the DFEH unfairly damaged the reputation of the company and undermined the public trust due to its negligence and fast-tracked process. 

In July last year, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging that the company had a “frat house culture” where sexual harassment complaints were brushed under the rug and no action was taken. The DFEH alleged that female employees of the company were regularly subjected to sexual harassment and were paid lower than their male counterparts. 

As a fallout from the lawsuit in July, dozens of employees were either fired or voluntarily left the company. Activision Blizzard also alleged that the DFEH fueled a media campaign to tarnish the reputations of both Activision Blizzard and the EEOC, an agency that recently settled its lawsuit for $18 million. The company argued that DFEH overstepped its authority of investigating the alleged gender discrimination in wages and promotion. The company said that DFEH launched a full-scale investigation involving sexual harassment which EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) was handling as per court order.