California expands lawsuit against Activision Blizzard

California expands lawsuit against Activision Blizzard

California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has broadened the people that can take part in its lawsuit against games giant Activision Blizzard.

As reported by Axios, the state government body has filed an amended complaint with the court which redefines the "group" that have been harmed by the US publishing firm. The updated complaint says that contractors and temporary workers can now take part in the lawsuit, where previously it was only staff that were actually fully employed by Activision Blizzard.

Throughout the complaint, "employees" has been amended to "workers" to reflect this change.

The DFEH has also alleged that Activision Blizzard has been interfering with its efforts to speak to staff at the company, saying that the games giant has required staff to speak to them before speaking to the state government body. This is due the employees being under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

DFEH filed its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard at the end of July with a complaint that detailed a toxic working culture, with shocking examples of sexual harassment, abuse and other misconduct.

Since this was filed, Activision Blizzard has had something of a mixed response, with CEO Robert Kotick describing it as "frankly tone-deaf." Since, the exec has told investors that the company will set the example for how to deal with workplace misconduct.

The president of Blizzard Entertainment J. Allen Brack has also departed in the wake of the lawsuit being filed. He was one of a handful of people actually named in the complaint and has been replaced by new co-leaders Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.