California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued a formal objcetion to the recent settlement publisher and developer Activision Blizzard made with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with the DFEH noting it could cause "irreparable harm" to its ongoing legal proceedings.
Activision Blizzard, as you're probably aware, is currently engaged with a series of lawsuits related to the company's alleged “frat boy culture” and various harassment claims.
The state of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed an objection to the settlement the company reached with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming it would cause “irreparable harm” to its own lawsuit.
In documents that were circulated on Twitter by Axios' Stephen Totilo, the DFEH notes that the terms of the settlement would require employees to release Activision Blizzard from claims under California state law – which would have serious repercussions on its own lawsuit.
"DFEH's pending enforcement action against Defendants will be harmed by uninformed waivers that the proposed decree makes conditional for victims to obtain relief," the DFEH wrote notes. "The proposed consent decree also contains provisions sanctioning the effective destruction and/or tampering of evidence critical to the DFEH's case, such as personnel files and other documents referencing sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination."
The state of California has already accused Activision Blizzard of "withholding" and "suppressing" evidence related to the case, and the worries about this new settlement seem to be re-igniting those worries for the state.
Since the lawsuit initially came to light, shareholders have argued that they were "economically damaged" as a result of company executives intentionally withholding information on the sexual harassment lawsuit.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has departed the company, leaving Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra to co-lead Blizzard. Activision Blizzard has also confirmed that HR executive, Jesse Meschuk (who had been at the company for 12 years), also left at the start of August.