Activision Blizzard Employees Set to Walkout on Wednesday

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Activision Blizzard Employees Set to Walkout on Wednesday

Workers from Activision Blizzard are planning a walkout at Blizzard's Irvine campus Wednesday morning, according to documents reviewed by dot.LA and confirmed by multiple company employees.

A group of several hundred employees crafted the messaging and coordinated the release of the documents with journalists, according to Valentine Powell, one of the organizers.

"We will not stop demanding the systemic changes needed to protect women and marginalized genders in our work spaces," tweeted Powell, who is a Blizzard software engineer.

The walkout announcement follows Monday's publication of an open letter signed by over 2,000 Activision Blizzard employees criticizing the company's response to the lawsuit brought to it by the state of California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company last week after a two-year investigation found male workers and bosses tormented women and executives didn't deal seriously with the complaints.

In the written statement circulated to numerous publications, the walkout organizers issued four demands to executive leadership: ending mandatory arbitration clauses, which they say "protect abusers and limit the ability of victims to seek restitution"; improving representation via new recruiting, interviewing, hiring and promotion practices; publishing compensation data and empowering a task force to audit the company's diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

On Tuesday afternoon Blizzard extended paid time off to all employees attending the walkout, said Powell, who described the decision as "a strong signal they intend to work with us."

The statement also called on social media supporters to show solidarity with the #ActiBlizzWalkout hashtag. Some Twitter users began calling for gamers to abstain from using the company's products, which include popular series Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

Read the full letter below:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Blizzard's initial response to the walkout.

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Snap Mandates Employees Work From the Office Four Days a Week

Nat Rubio-Licht
Nat Rubio-Licht is a freelance reporter with dot.LA. They previously worked at Protocol writing the Source Code newsletter and at the L.A. Business Journal covering tech and aerospace. They can be reached at
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Photo by rblfmr/ Shutterstock

Snap is the latest major tech company to bring the hammer down on remote work: CEO Evan Spiegel told employees this week that they will be expected to work from the office 80% of the time starting in February.

Per the announcement, the Santa Monica-based company’s full-time workers will be required to work from the office four or more days per week, though off-site client meetings would count towards their in-office time. This policy, which Spiegel dubbed “default together,” applies to employees in all 30 of the company's global offices, and the company is working on an exceptions process for those that wish to continue working remotely. Snap’s abrupt change follows other major tech firms, including Apple, which began its hybrid policy requiring employees to be in the office at least three days per week in September, and Twitter, which axed remote work completely after Elon Musk’s takeover (though he did temporarily close offices amid a slew of resignations in mid-November).

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