Activision Blizzard lawsuit inches closer to trial with judge's decision to include temp workers

Activision booth at E3 2017
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing secured an early victory yesterday in its litigation against Activision Blizzard, with a judge's ruling that the suit can include temporary workers in addition to full-time employees.

The DFEH argues that temporary workers suffered under the same toxic work environment as salaried employees, and that their testimony is an equally valid source of information about Activision Blizzard's workplace.

Activision Blizzard's lawyers argued that the DFEH's initial declaration of intent to investigate the company did not cover temporary workers, and as such any suit on their behalf would need to be filed as a separate complaint that also targeted their staffing agencies.

LA Superior Court Judge Timothy P. Dillon rejected that argument, saying the DFEH's amended complaint sufficiently supports the claim that "the group of female contingent and temporary workers" were essentially "employees" by alleging Activision Blizzard "jointly supervised and controlled employee's conditions of employment, determined rate of pay or method of payment, had authority to hire or fire employees, and maintained employment records."

The move helps the DFEH with its case, expanding its pool of witnesses. The focus on temporary workers in this suit could also have broader implications for labor law in America, as tech companies' increasing reliance on temporary and contracted labor has drawn attention to the general lack of protections for such workers as opposed to full-time employees. The trial remains a long way off, however. Its set to begin on February 27, 2023. If you need a refresher on how the case has developed, check out our summary of everything that's happened since the Activision Blizzard lawsuit went public.  

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.