More than a year after the first reports and government investigations into the company beganpublisher Activision Blizzard is facing new lawsuits over what is described in this latest case as a “popular” workplace culture of “boyfriends,” a breeding ground for harassment. and discrimination against women”.
Warning content: harassment.
The latest lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles by an unnamed former employee of the company, targets both Activision Blizzard itself and the employee’s former manager, Miguel Vega. The complaint alleges:
Activision Blizzard’s failure to prevent sexism and harassment encouraged manager Miguel Vega to abuse, belittle and insult Ms. Doe by making comments to her about oral sex, masturbating and orgasms, threatening her job if she doesn’t agree to sex, mocking her breasts, and commenting on how attractive other female employees are. Mr. Vega has also repeatedly threatened to release the compromised photo of Ms. Doe.
The lawsuit says the unnamed former employee, known as Jane Doe, “first met Mr. Vega in 2009 or 2010 (before she started at Activision Blizzard) when she was on a game night with him. members of Activision Blizzard, including Mr. Vega. Doe said that the pair “soon formed a virtual friendship and she regrettably sent him compromising photos of herself.”
Ms Doe said their friendship ended in 2011 when she met her future husband, but in 2016 Vega helped her get some “independent contractor jobs at Activision Blizzard”, then moved to a full-time position at the company as a Community Engager. Coordinator for Player Support.
During her time at the company, from 2016-2021, the suit said:
At work, Mr. Vega kept groping Doe’s breasts dozens of times. Each time, he squeezed, grabbed, or poked her chest and she was immediately startled by these unexpected advances. He often tries to kiss her at work. All of Mr. Vega’s sexual advances toward Mrs. Doe were unwelcome. After each time she rejected him, he would assure her that “one day it will happen” or “one day you will give in”.
It was also alleged that during the meetings, Vega “abused, belittled and insulted Miss Doe, telling her her ideas were terrible and that she had failed ‘a job a monkey has. can do'”. He will also speak narratively she’s a “nobody” whose “opinion doesn’t matter”, and that she “doesn’t know shit”.
The lawsuit then lists specific examples of sexual harassment allegations against Vega, including:
At an Activision Blizzard office party in 2017, Mr. Vega led Ms. Doe to an empty part of the office away from the party, and he asked her if she would give him oral sex if he “swallowed right away.” here”.
When Ms. Doe has expressed to Mr. Vega several times that she feels underpaid, Mr. Vega often responds with a similar suggestion: “Well, you know what you need to do” while he points to her crotch. me.
Mr Vega told Ms Doe he was “a very sexual person” and so he “needs to have sex at least twice a day.”
Mr. Vega asked Mrs. Doe how often she was satisfied with herself.
Mr. Vega asked Mrs. Doe how often her husband made her orgasm during sex and if she felt he was fulfilling her sexual needs (“How long does it take him to make you ejaculate?” And “Does he take care of you in the bedroom?” ? )
Ms. Doe’s complaint also alleges Vega threatened her career if she ever reported him to HR (which she first did in 2017, saying “Activision Blizzard did nothing”) and that until August 2021 — weeks after the company’s culture made international news — he repeatedly threatened to make public the “damaging photos” he had of her.
The lawsuit states that Vega was eventually reported directly to Ms. Doe’s manager in August 2021, and that “soon after, Mr. Vega left a voicemail for Ms. Doe in an ill-informed attempt to mitigate the harm he’s done to her.” Vega was subsequently terminated from office on September 1, 2021.
Ms. Doe’s complaint calls for a jury to hear both defendants in their entirety, and ultimately to claim damages, legal fees, lost income and medical expenses. Both Activision Blizzard and Mr. Vega have been contacted for comment.