A group of Activision Blizzard employees called the ABK Workers Alliance has rejected the company's decision to hire a law firm. WilmerHale review the company’s policies and procedures. In a letter shared with IGN, the group told CEO Bobby Kotick that its late response to employees following a lawsuit accusing it of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination in the company "did not significantly meet" the demands of employees. employees and that WinterHale's pre-existing relationship with Activision creates a conflict of interest which means it cannot conduct an impartial review.
Activision Blizzard was sued in mid-July by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and a widespread "frat frat" culture in the company. The company’s initial response to the complaints sparked widespread outrage from employees and an outburst that was widely supported by other employees in the industry.
One week after filing the lawsuit, Kotick acknowledged that the answer was "to be deaf "and pledged to review the policies and procedures that WilmerHale would pursue. But employees are not satisfied with this choice of interlocutor.
"Activision Blizzard has already been a customer of WilmerHale, who are you used to answer the multi-candidate search policy proposed by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund and UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust in early 2021, "the letter says." relationships with several partners at WilmerHale, including former FBI Director Robert Mueller ".
The letter also states that WilmerHale "has a history of discouraging workers' rights and collective action," noting that among the services listed in his website is advice on "union awareness and avoidance." WilmerHale's research executive Stephanie Avakian, former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division, faces criticism similar to those that defend corporate interests rather than workers' rights. : February 2021 announcement of his return to WilmerHale after a stint with the SEC, he specifically says he will "lead one of the country's leading advocacy groups in advising and advocating for financial institutions, public and private companies, coverage, accounting firms, investment advisers, boards, executives and people facing investigations and regulatory and criminal proceedings with the government ".
The letter calls on Activision Blizzard executives to "fully address" employee demands last week and also lists three employee initiatives that are now underway:
- Worker-to-worker tutoring: We are building a mentoring program where employees can seek professional advice, support and sponsorship from a network of colleagues in a secure external channel outside of the company’s communication networks.
- Open listening sessions: We will host listening sessions that will be recorded and disseminated throughout the organization to facilitate ongoing conversation, education, and emotional support from employees.
- Community meetings: We will facilitate monthly employee meetings, in a secure external channel, to discuss our concerns, desires and progress towards achieving our goals. All current ABK employees can participate in these conversations.
“As these actions demonstrate, we love our studies and care deeply about our colleagues,” the letter concludes. "We share your unwavering commitment expressed to improve our business together. We are doing what we can and we ask you to do what we can't."
The lawsuit against Activision Blizzard has already forced at least one major change in the company: Earlier today, former World of Warcraft executive J. Allen Brack was fired as president of Blizzard less than three years later. of having assumed the role of co-founder. Mike Morhaime. But it’s not just employees who apply the pressure – it looks like mobile communications company T-Mobile has ended sponsorship of both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League. This type of action could push the company to take action to fix its work defects so that employee complaints alone will not do so.
The financial results for the second quarter of Activision Blizzard will be released today.