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Activision Blizzard's attempt to pause California sexual harassment lawsuit rejected by judge

Activision Blizzard's attempt to create a conflict of interest from the DFEH has failed as a judge rejected a request to pause the lawsuit.

Activision Blizzard's request to pause the ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the company by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing has been rejected by a judge.

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought a case against Activision Blizzard, which the company responded to with an $18 million dollar settlement. The DFEH issued a formal objection to this settlement, saying that it could cause "irreparable harm" to its own ongoing legal proceedings.

Because things are never simple, the EEOC responded to that objection by noting that the DFEH had formerly worked with the EEOC on its own investigation into Activision Blizzard — and evidence from that case lead to the settlement from the defendent company (thanks, PC Gamer).

Activision Blizzard has tried to take advantage of the conflict between the two departments, and requested a pause in proceesdings to investigate the schism between the lawsuits.

However, LA County judge Timothy Patrick Dillon has rejected the request to halt the suit for the time being, and no reason was given for the denial.

Whilst it won't buy the company more time, there is scope for the conflict between the EEOC and the DFEH to get Activision Blizzard off the hook somewhat, and that's a bad look all around – especially when you consider the state of California has accused Activision Blizzard of "withholding" and "suppressing" evidence, shareholders have argued that they were "economically damaged" and the whole process has already caused ex-Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and HR executive, Jesse Meschuk, to leave the studio.

Don't expect this whole mess to be over any time soon, and you can almost certainly expect to read more about the EEOC versus the DFEH at some point in the coming days and weeks.

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt

Features Editor

Dom is a veteran video games critic, published author and columnist at has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to NME. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, faffing about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again). They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.

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