Activision Blizzard Shareholders Defy Board, Vote for Public Report on Workplace Misconduct

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Activision shareholders on Tuesday voted for the gaming giant to issue an annual report on misconduct in an attempt to increase transparency.

The move comes as the Santa Monica gaming company continues to fend off a series of lawsuits over workplace culture and unfair labor practices including pay, harassment and discrimination issues. The board had recommended a no vote on the report and that the company would allocate resources and energy to address other employee concerns.

The annual report proposed by New York State’s Common Retirement Fund would include findings on the number of pending sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination complaints the company is resolving, the amount of money the company is spending on settling misconduct claims in the past three years and the number of pending misconduct complaints.

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Last year, Activision lost several executives including Claire Hart, chief legal officer of Blizzard Entertainment. The exit followed the departures of J. Allen Brack, Blizzard’s president, and Jesse Meschuk, head of global human resources, in August. Additionally, three of its top designers behind “Diablo 4,” “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch” also departed last year.

The parent company has been facing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In May 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission started investigating allegations over gender-based harassment. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July sued the company for allegedly paying women less than their male colleagues and providing them with fewer opportunities for advancement.

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