Back in July 2021, the state of California made waves in the video game industry when the California Civil Rights Department, formerly the Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard over allegations of a “frat boy” culture where female employees were allegedly subjected to constant sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation. More lawsuits have been filed against Activision Blizzard since then. This includes an unfair labor practice charge, an anti-labor complaint, and more lawsuits alleging harassment and discrimination. Activision Blizzard tried to get this suit dismissed but the Court of Appeal denied Activision Blizzard’s request. “The Second Appellate District of the Court of Appeal has denied Activision Blizzard’s (Activision) petition for a writ of mandate, through Activision sought to have the Civil Rights Department’s (CRD) civil rights case against the gaming company and related entities dismissed,” the Court of Appeal said in an official statement.
Activision Blizzard wanted to get the lawsuit dismissed on the alleged ground that the CRD failed to comply with its pre-filing obligations before bringing the lawsuit against them. An Activision Blizzard rep told Axios that the ruling was “disappointing.” They maintain that the agency ignored its own rules “in its rush to file a lawsuit.”
“With the Court of Appeal’s denial of a writ of mandate, the CRD will continue litigating this case to enforce the civil rights guarantees in the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Equal Pay Act on behalf of women who worked for Activision,” said CRD Director Kevin Kish. “The Court of Appeal’s ruling allows the CRD to continue pursuing relief for the thousands of women in California who have suffered sex-based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as Actvision workers.”
The trial is expected to begin in February but both parties are asking for it to be delayed.