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Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California's Department for Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is countering Activision Blizzard's claims of ethics violations, stating that the embattled developer is attempting to "conjure a scandal" from mundane facts.

Driving the news: Activision Blizzard filed an application this week for the lawsuit to "be put on pause" to investigate claims that DFEH lawyers committed ethical violations.

  • The issue is whether two of the DFEH's lawyers, who formerly worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) while it was investigating Activision, violated ethics regulations by working on both cases.
  • The issue was first raised by the EEOC, after California objected to that agency's planned settlement with the gaming giant.

The DFEH said Wednesday that its former EEOC lawyers did not work "personally and substantially" on that previous case.

Why it matters: If Activision Blizzard gets its way, the DFEH's lawyers or even the DFEH's full team could be disqualified from the trial.

  • Amid the ongoing court battle, Activision Blizzard continues to investigate harassment claims internally.
  • According to a statement from chief compliance officer Fran Townsend released Tuesday, "more than 20 individuals have exited Activision Blizzard and more than 20 individuals faced other types of disciplinary action" in relation to employee reports.
  • The company will add 19 full-time roles to its ethics and compliance team.

Go deeper

Lawsuit against PlayStation alleges gender discrimination

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former IT security analyst at Sony PlayStation filed a lawsuit against the company in California on Monday, alleging gender discrimination and wrongful termination after speaking up “about discrimination against females” at the gaming giant.

Why it matters: Video game companies are under increased scrutiny for their treatment of women in an industry long dominated by men.

Updated 10 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.