When someone files a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, the government body will investigate the business to see if they have violated any rights. In recent months, video game companies have received increasing scrutiny over labor violations, and Activision Blizzard is the latest to receive a formal complaint.
According to reporting from The Verge, an employee received backlash and threats after they discussed holding the company accountable. In the company’s Slack channel, an employee posted an article about an ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit and claimed that other co-workers should also hold the company responsible. Shortly after, the manager messaged the employee with threats.
A senior test analyst, Jessica Gonzalez, states that the company has a pattern of retaliating against employees who are vocal about inequalities in the workplace. This has only become more apparent as the company faces other legal challenges from different sides.
In July 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing took Activision Blizzard to court, alleging that female employees face frequent sexual harassment, less pay, and discrimination when it came to promotions, according to The New York Times. Now the company is once again being accused of breaking labor laws.
An employer can technically dictate what social interactions can happen during work time, but they have no say in what happens outside of work, on breaks, etc. With an application like Slack, employees are connected and can reach out to each other freely. Since Activision Blizzard attempted to limit the employees’ speech to other coworkers, the NLRB could find them in violation.
The NLRB will investigate the new complaint against Activision Blizzard and, if it finds it’s true, will issue a formal complaint to the developer. If found liable, the company would be responsible for paying any fines or lost income to employees affected by the labor violation.