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Court refuses Activision request to pause DFEH suit over alleged ethics violations

Request denied less than a week after it was filed, judge did not elaborate on reasoning

The Los Angeles County Court has denied Activision Blizzard's request to hold off the State of California lawsuit it faces following reports of potential ethics violations.

The suit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing back in July was criticised by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which claimed two DFEH attorneys previously served on the EEOC's own investigation that led to a separate lawsuit.

That lawsuit led to a proposed $18 million settlement -- which the DFEH objected to, claiming it would undermine its own suit. The EEOC responded with the allegations of ethical violations given the crossover of the attorneys working on both cases.

Activision Blizzard also weighed in, requesting that the DFEH suit be stayed until it could look further into the allegations of ethics violations.

But Law360 reports Judge Timothy Patrick Dillon has denied this application within less than a week.

Dillon did not elaborate on his reasoning for this order.

The DFEH submitted an opposition to Activision's request the day after it was filed. In a statement following Dillon's decision, the department said Activision Blizzard's request was "baseless" and that it "looks forward to prosecuting the state's enforcement action on the merits."

The original DFEH lawsuit focused on alleged violations of civil rights and equal pay laws, as well as claims of discrimination and sexual harassment across the company.

It has since been followed by the EEOC's lawsuit and proposed settlement over harassment and discrimination, an investigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commisison, and a class action lawsuit on behalf of its investors for not disclosing the issues with its workplace culture.

The Communications Workers of America has also filed a complaint regarding alleged union busting activities, and submitted its own objection to the proposed settlement for the EEOC suit.

You can follow the full story here.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006