Employees at game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard have planned a walkout Wednesday to mount further pressure on management, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The walkout follows an open letter signed by more than 2,500 current and former employees condemning Activision Blizzard leadership's response to an explosive lawsuit filed last week alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the workplace. The walkout is being organized primarily by Blizzard Entertainment employees, as the subsidiary is the focal point of many of the lawsuit's most damning accusations. It will occur in-person at Blizzard's Irvine headquarters and online for remote workers.
The walkout organizers' stated goal is to "improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups," according to Bloomberg. There are four explicit demands, including an end to the controversial use of mandatory arbitration clauses in employee contracts. The tactic is used in the game and tech industries to avoid public litigation and suppress stories of misconduct and other employee complaints and criticisms.
Other demands include new hiring, interviewing and promotion practices to improve diversity and inclusion; publication of employee compensation, promotion ranges and salary ranges; and a diversity task force that will be empowered to hire a third party to audit Activision Blizzard leadership. "It is imperative to identify how current systems have failed to prevent employee harassment, and to propose new solutions to address these issues," the organizers said.
For its part, Blizzard is giving the protestors its blessing, saying in an email that there will be no repercussions for those who partake in the strike, according to The Verge. The employees can even use personal time off for the walkout.
Update: This story was updated to include information about Blizzard encouraging the strike.