Judge rules Activision Blizzard lawsuit can include temporary workers

The ruling will "send a very important signal" to the wider tech industry

A judge has confirmed that temporary workers can be included in an ongoing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, after the company tried to argue against it.

On February 15, judge Timothy Patrick Dillon ruled that temporary workers could be included in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

The company had previously tried to have the suit dismissed – or its scope narrowed down – by saying that California had wrongly included this group of employees.


“The Court finds that [Department of Fair Employment and Housing] did not expand the scope of this lawsuit by amending the complaint to add the phrase “contingent and temporary workers,” reads a court document shared by reporter Stephen Totilo.

The judge explained that enough evidence was provided to prove that “the group of female contingent and temporary workers were Defendants “employees”” and so overruled Activision Blizzard’s argument.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Samantha Gordon – senior vice president of advocacy and organising at Tech Equity Collaborative – said that the ruling will “send a very important signal” to the wider tech industry, “especially if DFEH can put penalties to Activision for this behaviour, and show there’s accountability for worker harm.”

“Contracting, at least for tech companies writ large, seems to be one of the ways that certain groups are locked out of tech, including women, people of color, and non-binary folks,” added Gordon, who said this can worsen power dynamics found in the workplace.

Earlier in the month, Microsoft president Brad Smith said that Activision Blizzard staff will be “under scrutiny” after it acquired the company for around £50billion in January.


In other news, The Sims 4 will now launch ‘My Wedding Stories’ in Russia, after developer Maxis originally announced that would not be the case due to a homophobic law in the country.

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