Activision Blizzard is urging its shareholders to vote no this summer on creating a new report. It would highlight how they’re handling abuse, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. The proposal comes from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. They were the beneficial owner of 1,552,194 shares of Activision Blizzard’s Common Stock.
Axios reports that Activision is urging its shareholders to vote against this proposal from New York state. If approved, the report would add transparency to the troubled company. Recently, their sexual harassment lawsuit recently settled for $18 million.
The proposed report would have Activision Blizzard provide several things. The main goal would be to “oversee the preparation of an annual public report describing and quantifying the effectiveness and outcomes of Company efforts to prevent abuse, harassment, and discrimination against protected classes of employees.”
The proposal also asks that the company disclose how much they’ve spent on disputes. It would also report how many disputes they’ve settled in the last three years. The report would include the number of misconduct complaints the company currently faces. The proposal also asks Activision to disclose the progress being made to reduce the time spent on resolving issues.
Activision’s urging to vote against the report is for several reasons in the filing.
First, the Board believes that, rather than diverting energy and resources toward creating yet another report, we should continue to directly respond to employee concerns. Focusing all our attention on these concerns is the best way quickly and effectively to create genuine change in our workplace.
Second, the proposed report itself, even if completed after significant time and expense, would create a set of metrics that are simply not the best measures of how the Company is responding to employee concerns. The Board is committed to measuring the speed and effectiveness of our changes accurately, not based on metrics that are not precisely tailored to our Company’s situation.
The filing also mentions the company has made several “significant steps” to improve its workplace. These include launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy, the continued investigation of all claims, and an initiative that encourages employee feedback.
Blizzard Activision says they believe transparency with their stakeholders is important. They hope to continue doing so “in light of privacy and other limitations” as they try to improve the workplace. The company says they welcome input from all its shareholders. Though, its Board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote against proposal 5.
The vote on this proposal and others will likely take place this June.