The state of California’s case in opposition to Activision Blizzard simply took one other blow. A report in Bloomberg alleges that the workplace of California Governor Gavin Newsom sought to “interfere” within the lawsuit between the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Activision Blizzard for sexual harassment and discrimination. When the swimsuit’s head counsel Janette Wipper tried to keep up the division’s autonomy, she was allegedly fired, which prompted assistant chief counsel for the DFEH Melanie Proctor to resign in protest.
According to the Bloomberg report, Proctor despatched an e-mail to workers saying, “The Office of the Governor repeatedly demanded advance notice of litigation strategy and of next steps in the litigation. As we continued to win in state court, this interference increased, mimicking the interests of Activision’s counsel.”
Activision Blizzard just lately settled with the EEOC to the tune of an $18 million sufferer compensation fund. The DFEH sought to dam that settlement, claiming it might permit Activision Blizzard the power to destroy proof or release the corporate from the state’s claims. After an attempt to stay the settlement, a California judge ultimately denied the DFEH’s requests, paving the best way for the settlement’s approval at the end of March.
The $18 million settlement was criticized for being a drop within the bucket for the billion-dollar firm. Riot Games, an identical billion-dollar online game writer, recently settled its own harassment lawsuit for $100 million. High-profile lawyer Lisa Bloom, who has filed her own case against the company, held a press conference back in December saying, “Given that there are hundreds of victims, I think we can all agree that the $18 million number is woefully inadequate.”
While the DFEH’s makes an attempt to dam the settlement didn’t appear to be motivated by the settlement’s measurement (or relative lack thereof), it did appear to need to pursue harsher penalties than the EEOC proposed. Now with the DFEH’s high two attorneys gone, allegedly on the behest of the California governor, it looks like political forces (who might have a vested curiosity in Activision’s board or even Microsoft’s) have determined Activision Blizzard has correctly atoned. In an e-mail to The Verge, DFEH deputy communication director Fahizah Alim stated, “DFEH does not comment on personnel matters. DFEH will continue to vigorously enforce California’s civil rights and fair housing laws.”