Activision Blizzard fails to have DFEH lawsuit paused over alleged ethics violations

A motion to stay without prejudice was denied by the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Activision Blizzard has failed to have the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's (DFEH) harassment lawsuit paused due to potential ethics violations.

The U.S. publisher is being sued by the DFEH for allegedly creating a "frat boy" culture that allowed misconduct to flourish, but last week asked courts to pause the suit after some DFEH lawyers were accused of breaching ethical guidelines.

As reported by Bloomberg Law, however, the Los Angeles Superior Court has rebuffed Activision Blizzard's attempts to have the case paused, denying its motion to stay without prejudice while still allowing it to pursue discovery on the allegations.

The latest twist in the high-profile legal saga came when the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) -- which is attempting to seal a controversial settlement with Activision Blizzard after also suing the company -- accused the DFEH of employing two lawyers who previously investigated Activision Blizzard on its behalf.

The EEOC only made those allegations public after the DFEH objected to its proposed $18 million settlement with Activision, claiming the move would lead to the "effective destruction" of evidence critical to its own case.

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) union also lambasted the settlement, describing it as a "slap in the face to workers" who "dealt with toxic working conditions for years."

Last week, Activision Blizzard fired 20 employees after a months-long review into the conduct of its workers. The company is also being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its handling of workplace misconduct reports and pay disparity claims.

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