Activision Blizzard faces a second lawsuit as investors sue the company in a class action lawsuit for failing to disclose its problems with sexual harassment and discrimination.
According to a report by Kotaku, the lawsuit (filed by The Rosen Law Firm) states that Activision Blizzard issued “materially false and misleading statements during” the class action lawsuit period, which seems to be between August 4th, 2016 and July 27th, 2021. The lawsuit claims that the SOX certifications during that time period did not address the company’s culture of sexual harassment and discrimination, something the executives were aware of and left out of the SOX certifications. These certifications, by law, meant to protect those who trade on publicly traded companies like Activision Blizzard by requiring these companies to disclose any potential issues which may affect the stock prices.
The SOX certifications from 2016-2020, signed by the executives, stated, “In the opinion of management, after consultation with legal counsel, such routine claims and lawsuits are not significant and we do not expect them to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity.” This has been shown false given the drop in stock prices after the first lawsuit.
Activision Blizzard was recently sued by the State of California for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation against women. The corporate response has been tepid at best, painfully dismissive at worst. Recently, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack (named in the lawsuit) stepped down.
Current and former employees, on the other hand, have been courageously sharing their stories and asking the company to do more. More than 2000 people signed a letter stating that the initial company response was “abhorrent.” Employees also staged a walk out and have continued to hold out on their demands like ending forced arbitration and worker participation in oversight.