- Activision faces charges for allegedly illegally firing two employees
- The charges have been filed directly against Activision CEO Bobby Kotick
- The CWA says these firings were made as an example to other employees
The Communications Workers of America filed charges against Activision who allegedly illegally fired two employees over remote work protests.
Activision Faces Charges
Activision is once again at the center of a scandal regarding the way the company treats its employees. This prompted the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to file charges against the company, claiming Activision violated several workplace laws in relation to the firing of two QA testers.
The CWA’s charges are also related to Activision’s recent decision to force workers back into the office. This move has been met with resistance across the company from employees who have gotten used to the benefits of home office. “Numerous workers protested the [return to office] plan citing the cost of living concerns and the impact it would have on their co-workers who might be forced out of their jobs,” said the CWA.
These protests were accompanied by two QA testers expressing their outrage using strong language. Activision set up disciplinary meetings which resulted in the two testers being fired. This in turn prompted the CWA’s reaction.
The workers’ association argues that “the use of outbursts and strong language in the context of concerted activity by employees was protected by the National Labor Relations Board”. The CWA also adds this was the case until 2020 when the Trump administration rolled back a lot of workers’ rights. According to the CWA, this included “modifying the standard for determining whether employees have been lawfully disciplined or discharged after making offensive statements”. The workers’ organization argues this limits the employees’ free speech.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is the one who received the charges directly. Kotick has been involved in numerous scandals the past year and a half, including being blamed for the large Activision employee turnover that the company saw last year.
According to the CWA, the firings of the two QA testers, which happened on February 17, were made “in response to [the employee’s] engagement in protected, concerted and union activity”. The organization also says that Activision “improperly denied a request to have a coworker witness the disciplinary meeting which preceded the termination of [their] employment”.
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens said that Activision has often gotten away with mistreating its employees, especially QA testers. She said that the firing of the two employees is simply retaliation for the expression of concern around the hasty return to office policies “When faced with unfair treatment by unscrupulous employers like Activision, workers should have the right to express themselves,” she explained.