Activision Blizzard developers don’t want breast milk stolen anymore

Overwatch 2 heroes fight for a seat at the table.

Picture: Activision Blizzard

10 months after the alleged California lawsuit Pervasive sexual harassment and discrimination in Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, staff at the company did not feel like it had made the necessary changes and formed a workers committee to demand further reform. Chief among them are calls for independent investigations, an end to retaliation, comprehensive health care and protections for breastfeeding.

“We believe it is imperative that workers have a say in Activision Blizzard’s anti-discrimination policies — without that, the company’s culture of harassment and abuse will continue to go unchecked. ,” senior motion graphics designer and member of the Anti-Sex & Gender Committee for Workers Emily Knief, said in a statement today, discrimination. “We hope to have a productive conversation with management, where they acknowledge these growing concerns and implement the requests made by the committee.”

List of needs, as first reported by washington articles, including things like committees that have a say in how policies are developed, witnesses at staff meetings, and other resources to assist clients and community managers dealing with harassment. customer trouble. It also calls for, for cases of sexual harassment or discrimination, a clearer severance to mandatory arbitration and corporate retaliation beyond existing corporate concessions in those fields.

“We appreciate that these employees want to join us to make Activision Blizzard even better and continue the progress we’ve made,” said Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor. in a statement. “For example, we have upgraded our breastfeeding facilities, waived arbitration, hired new DEI and EEO leaders, and partnered with staff to make our policies and procedures sound. should be more inclusive, just to highlight some of the issues the letter raises.”

Activision Blizzard promised to give up Mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination complaints when requested by employees, but the commission is calling for an end to the practice altogether. Similarly, Activision Blizzard says it has a strict policy against retaliation, but the committee is calling for “retaliation” to be more specific.

“Within 180 days of filing a complaint, or until the dispute is resolved, if an employee is demoted or removed from their team or their job is otherwise changed (eg. like the job was stripped or they were disciplined) the action was supposed to be retaliation,” it wrote. The company is currently being sued by an employee who alleges that in addition to facing harassment and sexual misconduct, she was also retaliated against by managers after reporting it in the form of omissions of advertising and performance reviews not good.

The committee also has a detailed list of specific breastfeeding needs and cites some of the concerns shared by staff over the years:

1. The chairs in the private room will swing backwards and cannot be locked in place for pumping. Many workers sit on the floor to pump.

2. The table is made of wood, porous and has grain, so even if it has been cleaned, breast milk residue on the table will fade and leave milk stains on the table.

3. The socket situation is a fire hazard. There are only two plugs per room, one used for the lights with the USB jack for the phone and the other for the pump. There are no sockets for laptops or extra space to put laptops if workers want to work from this room. This leads to the use of extension cords.

4. Insufficient storage space: no locked cabins for workers to keep their pumps safe. Many workers have to carry them around the campus several times a day because they don’t want to leave them behind.

5. Refrigerators with locks are not consistently locked or can be accessed by others. Workers also use refrigerators to store beer, but the original reason there was a lock on the cabinet was because the workers’ breast milk was stolen.

6. Sanitary standards are not maintained. It seems housekeeping is cleaning those rooms consistently the way the rest of the offices are.

Similar problems has been reported beforeand was shared on social media last December when a former Blizzard developer revealed their breast milk was stolen from the working refrigerator. According to Activision Blizzard, there are more pump sites that are properly equipped, “Quiet Rooms” now with pin codes and lockable refrigerators.

“We encourage any employee who witnesses or experiences inappropriate behavior to report it so that it can be investigated,” the company said. However, such feedback is part of the problem. While the committee is asking for direct participation in the decision-making process, the company has stopped providing it.

Nowhere is this clearer than the committee’s request for personnel interactions. Employees want them all to be recorded and allow employees the right to bring another coworker with them. That is not an uncommon fact for unionized workers. Instead, Activision Blizzard recommends that employees with concerns “approach a senior leader they trust.” Last fall, thousands of employees at the company called on their top leadership, CEO Bobby Kotick, resignation.

The committee’s request comes a day after quality assurance developers at one of Activision’s Call of Duty studios successfully formed the first alliance. at a major US game company. Today, the company announced that Modern War 2 will be released on October 28th.

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