News & Commentary

November 19, 2021

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa is a student at Harvard Law School.

More than 1300 employees at Activision Blizzard have signed a petition calling for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick after many employees staged a walkout on Tuesday with the same demand. The employee actions come after a Wall Street Journal report alleging that Kotick knew about sexual misconduct claims for years without taking action or informing the board of directors. The petition also demands that Kotick not have a role to play in deciding the next CEO. Kotick disputes the allegations.

In addition to the employee actions, a group of investors in Activision went after the company in a lawsuit made public on Thursday, also calling for Kotick’s resignation over the same allegations. Earlier this fall, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also brought suit against Activision claiming that the company engaged in pregnancy discrimination, unequal pay for female employees, sexual harassment, and retaliation, which Activision settled for $18 million dollars. During that lawsuit, 1,000 current and former Activision employees wrote an open letter decrying Activision’s response which fully denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

As William reported yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office scored the current budget reconciliation provisions for civil penalties for labor law violations at generating $2.7 billion, while it estimated the House Education and Labor Committee’s section of the bill overall would result in a $454.1 billion deficit. The reconciliation bill could also potentially include unused green card recapture provisions that could provide green cards to some currently undocumented skilled health-care workers, after hospital groups have lobbied Congress throughout the pandemic to implement policies to address the shortage in healthcare workers. However, more extensive bills like the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act that would provide more comprehensive pathways to citizenship for essential workers but have not made it very far through the chambers.

Yesterday, the Third Circuit ruled against a construction company’s attempt to consolidate arbitrations of two labor disputes over job assignments with two separate unions. P&A Construction Inc, and its affiliate Utility Systems Inc., wanted to join arbitration proceedings with United Steelworkers Local 15024 and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825. The Third Circuit ruled that doing so was not appropriate in this instance when the unions had only agreed to arbitrate with one of the two companies. “Instead of a triangular relationship between one employer and two unions, which could support joint arbitration,” the majority opinion wrote, “this case involves two parallel lines, each of which connects a different union with a different employer, and those two lines never intersect.”

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