The State of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) have accused Activision Blizzard of shredding documents pertaining to their ongoing investigation into harassment and discimination at the company. The DFEH sued ActiBliz back in July over the World Of Warcraft and Call Of Duty publisher's alleged hostile work culture. Now, in an update to the suit, the DFEH claim the company have "suppressed evidence and interfered with a government investigation." Activision Blizzard, however, claim they've been cooperative.
The new allegations (via Bloomberg Law) claim that Activision Blizzard "refused to produce documents regarding complaints and investigations of discrimination and harassment by asserting that they did not exist or that they were privilieged and confidential because attorneys were involved."
"DFEH is also informed and aware that documents and records have not been maintained as required by law of the DFEH's Document Retention Notice," the lawsuit alleges. "Including but not limited to documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel and emails are deleted thirty days after an employee's separation."
They further claim that, due to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), employees must talk to the company before coming forward to the DFEH. They also criticise Activision Blizzard for calling in the third-party legal firm WilmerHale to conduct their own "confidential" investigation, saying this "directly interferes with DFEH's statutory mandate to investigate, prosecute, and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations."
Activision Blizzard have since responded to these allegations, claiming that they have "complied with every proper request" and have been "implementing reforms to ensure our workplaces are welcoming and safe for every employee" (via Eurogamer).
"We share DFEH's goal of a safe, inclusive workplace that rewards employees equitably and are committed to setting an example that others can follow," they add.
Despite listing a number of actions they've taken to make Activision Blizzard more "welcoming", the employee group A Better ABK say that none of their demands for a better workplace have actually been met.
All of this follows a two year investigation into Activision Blizzard performed by the DFEH, who allege the company fosters a "frat boy" culture that has created "a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women". After the lawsuit was made public, employees condemned the company's poor response to the suit, then held a walkout in protest. A number of high-level staff are no longer at the company too, including two Diablo 4 leads who were let go, and Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack, who stepped down.