Activision Blizzard has fired 20 individuals and reprimanded or punished 20 more in the course of its investigation into allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexism within the company, according to a Financial Times report.
None of those fired or punished were C-suite or director-level employees, Frances Townsend, the chief compliance officer at the gaming company, told the Financial Times. The company announced the firings, as well as a large expansion of its ethics team, in an all-staff memo filed Tuesday. Townsend also said that while the company has yet to meet the demands of organizing workers, who have asked for an end to mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts and a company-wide commitment gender pay equity, she has been given a "blank check" to make changes as she sees fits.
Activision Blizzard is facing a sweeping investigation and lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing into the allegations of gender-based discrimination, and the company also recently settled an investigation from the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission into the same complaints. Activision Blizzard is now asking for a pause in the DFEH suit because the EEOC and DFEH have been publicly fighting over the nature of the dueling suits and settlements, accusing each other of ethical violations. The company appears to be taking advantage of the conflict to try to bring an end to the DFEH process.
Some workers at Activision Blizzard are instead protesting the EEOC settlement and appear to be pinning their hopes on the DFEH, accusing the current agreement of being too weak to cause real change or represent the harms that have been caused by the company.
The company is also facing charges from the Communication Workers of America union in front of the National Labor Relations Board, which allege that Activision Blizzard has tried to quash union organizing efforts protected under national labor laws in the wake of the allegations and lawsuits.
Representatives from the company did not immediately respond to request for comment.