Today, Activision Blizzard shareholders voted to approve a proposed annual report that would document the company’s ongoing efforts to stop workplace abuse and harassment as well as catalogue the company’s total number of sexual harassment settlements and pending complaints.
Activision had recommended stockholders vote against the creation of this kind of report and may end up ignoring the request altogether as it’s non-binding.
As reported by The Washington Post, during a 20-minute meeting earlier today, the vast majority of Activision stockholders voted against the company’s board and approved the creation of annual reports intended to shine a light on how (and if) the Call of Duty publisher is acting on claims that its workplace is filled with harassment and abuse. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli first requested this kind of report back in February of this year and it’s been nearly a year since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a historic lawsuit that brought to light an ongoing firestorm of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations.
The idea behind this proposed report is to make sure Activision is actively working to improve workplace conditions. The report would also document how much money the company is spending on compensation payouts for victims of abuse and harassment.
Activision didn’t want stockholders to approve the annual report, as Axios revealed last month. Opposing the request, Activision stated: “The Board believes that, rather than diverting energy and resources toward creating yet another report, we should continue to directly respond to employee concerns.”
In a statement given to Kotaku, Activision acknowledged the results of today’s vote, but wouldn’t confirm if it planned to actually release annual harassment reports, pointing out that the proposal is “non-binding” and adding that it will “consider” it.
Stockholders voted in favour of the non-binding stockholder proposal regarding the preparation of a report about the Company’s efforts in the workplace. Consistent with our ongoing commitments, we will carefully consider the proposal to enhance our future disclosures. Activision Blizzard remains deeply committed to a respectful, welcoming workplace for all colleagues.
DiNapoli, New York’s State Comptroller, told The Washington Post via a statement that this vote “spoke loudly” and that Activision needs to now “restore investor confidence” and “increase transparency” on how it will improve its workplace conditions and its handling of harassment and abuse.
“We expect swift action from the company on our concerns,” said DiNapoli.
Just last week, an internal investigation by the publisher’s board had cleared the company of any wrongdoing. The investigation, which was quickly criticised by many, found that there was never any “systemic issue with harassment, discrimination or retaliation” at Activision Blizzard. This would seem to fly directly in the face of multiple stories, accusations, and further evidence that has come out publicly in the last year about the horrible abuse and discrimination that many employees suffered while working at the company.