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Activision Calls for DFEH Suit to be Dismissed

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has asked a State of California court to dismiss the sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination lawsuit the Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed against it last summer, per a VentureBeat report.

In the request filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, the company accuses the DFEH of improperly investigating claims, cutting that investigation short before receiving materials it had received from Activision Blizzard, and failing to negotiate a resolution, all before filing its suit.

"We are moving to dismiss the DFEH's Complaint because the agency violated its own rules, acted in bad faith, and undermined its authority to file this lawsuit," reads the request.

A judge approved a settlement agreement between Activision Blizzard and the Equal Employment Opportunity in another harassment and discrimination suit in March. When the DFEH attempted to block that agreement, arguing it failed to provide adequate compensation for victims, it came to light that two attorneys who had worked on the EEOC's investigation were now working on the DFEH investigation. Activision Blizzard and the EEOC described that as an ethics violation, and Activision Blizzard cites it in the dismissal request.

The request says the DFEH went beyond the original scope of its investigation. It was originally to focus on disparities and gender discrimination regarding pay and promotion, while the EEOC handled harassment, abuse and retaliation. The latter ultimately made its way into the DFEH investigation and lawsuit.

Activision Blizzard claims the DFEH suit has damaged its reputation and undermined the public's trust in it, and that the DFEH itself has fueled a media campaign toward that end.

The DFEH plans to respond to Activision's request for dismissal with its own court filing. A recent report indicated California Governor Gavin Newsom's office had attempted to interfere with the DFEH's suit against Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard faces several other potentially damaging predicaments. A lawsuit by Activision investors was dismissed last month, but the investors have the ability to revise the complain and resubmit within a certain timeframe. It's also being sued by the family of a former employee, by a current employee, and, most recently, by the city of New York.