Activision Blizzard sues California department that filed 2021 sexual misconduct lawsuit

The company alleges that the state department has withheld and redacted critical info, among other allegations.

Activision Blizzard has fired back at the state of California with a lawsuit aimed at the state’s Civil Rights Department, accusing the department’s investigators of withholding information regarding their contacts with other media outlets and labor unions, in relation to the California department’s 2021 sexual misconduct and pay discrimination lawsuit against the company.

The latest lawsuit was filed by lawyer Christopher Skinnell on behalf of Activision Blizzard, according to an Axios report. In the lawsuit, Skinnell alleges that the California CRD “deliberately unleashed a hurricane of hostile media coverage against the Company based on malicious and knowingly false assertions” and “orchestrated a comprehensive media campaign in an attempt to bullrush the Company into settling its lawsuit.”

The aforementioned lawsuit was brought up by the California CRD in July 2021, back when the department was known as the Department of Fair Employment & Housing. This was the first in a litany of lawsuits aimed at Activision Blizzard over the next year, alleging that the company fostered a frat boy workplace where female employees were mistreated, and subjected to belittlement, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation, among other humiliating treatments.

The company’s original statement in response to the California lawsuit said that it included “distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzards past. Activision Blizzard previously settled with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a similar lawsuit back in March of this year for $18 million.

The Activision Blizzard lawsuit directed at the California CRD says that higher-ups in the department “engaged in a systemic campaign of off-the-record media briefing and leaking to media, all in violation of its own stated agency policy not to speak to the media about ongoing matters.” The suit also claims that the CRD unlawfully refused to provide communications to Activision in a timely manner and redacted key portions of documents that included key sources.

The company is suing to have the CRD disclose “all non-exempt, requested public records,” as well as for the costs of suit and lawyer’s fees.

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