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Court Denies Activision Blizzard Petition to Dismiss Gender Discrimination Suit

Embattled Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
Embattled Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. / Kevin Dietsch/GettyImages

The California Civil Rights Department — formerly known as the Department for Fair Employment and Housing — says its gender discrimination suit against Activision Blizzard will proceed after the Court of Appeals denied the company's petition to dismiss the case.

The CRD filed its suit against Activision Blizzard in summer 2021, launching a tidal wave of bad press and litigation for the company in the following months. The CRD's investigation found women who worked at Activision Blizzard frequently suffered sexual harassment from male coworkers, pay gaps and other forms of gender discrimination, and that both human resources and executives at the company knew about and failed to deal with the problems.

Per the CRD, Activision Blizzard asked the trial court to dismiss the suit by claiming CRD had vailed to comply with pre-filing obligations. The court denied that request. Now, an Activision Blizzard attempt to have the Second Appellate District of the Court of Appeals dismiss the case has also failed.

"With the Court of Appeal's denial of a writ of mandate, the CRD will continue litigating this case to enforce the civil rights guarantees in the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Equal Pay Act on behalf of women who worked for Activision," said CRD department director Kevin Kish in an official statement.

"The Court of Appeal's ruling allows the CRD to continue pursuing relief for the thousands of women in California who have suffered sex-based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as Activision workers."

An Activision spokesperson told Axios the ruling was "disappointing," but maintained the company's belief that the CRD ignored its own rules "in its rush to file a lawsuit."

The trial is set to begin in February, but Axios reports both sides have asked to delay the trial date.