AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the US Supreme Court OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the U.S. Supreme Court

9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier that HIV patients may make a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS for requiring HIV patients to use mail-order pharmacies or to go to a few of CVS’s selected specialty pharmacies, where patients say they are not getting full service

In 2018, AHF warned the U.S. Department of Justice that the then-proposed CVS merger with Aetna would create a monopoly-like behemoth that would harm patients, which appears to be the case here with pharmacy choice

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, filed a brief of amicus curiae with the Supreme Court of the United States earlier today in CVS Pharmacy, Inc. vs. Doe, a case set to be heard and decided by summer 2022.

In December 2020, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Doe vs. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. that people living with HIV can state a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., for requiring them to use mail-order pharmacies to obtain HIV/AIDS medications or to go to one of a few designated “specialty” pharmacies that are little more than pick-up stations, as part of in-network pharmacy services for private insurance plans. CVS appealed the ruling and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In its brief, AHF asks the Supreme Court to affirm the earlier judgement of the Ninth Circuit.

“For people living with HIV/AIDS, real specialty pharmacies and pharmacists that focus on HIV/AIDS and in-person treatment provide demonstrably superior care than do mail-order pharmacies and retail pharmacies. We believe that CVS’s denial of choice in pharmacy services for HIV/AIDS patients is both wrong and discriminatory,” said Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel — Litigation for AHF.

AHF’s amicus curiae brief focuses on three primary arguments:

  1. That U.S. Statutory Law Requires Courts to Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS from Disability Discrimination by Healthcare Providers,
  2. That Coerced Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies Is Highly Detrimental to People Living with HIV/AIDS, and
  3. That Coercing People Living with HIV/AIDS to Use Mail-Order Pharmacies Is a Disability-Rights Violation, by Both Intent and Impact.

“CVS said to people living with HIV that they can only go to a few of its selected pharmacies and/or be compelled to utilize its PBM’s mail order pharmacies. Patients asserted they weren’t getting full service there, which discriminated against them. They wanted to keep their current pharmacies which provide more comprehensive and specialty services,” said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AHF. “We filed this amicus brief to support HIV/AIDS patients’ legal arguments in the case before the Supreme Court and to defend patients’ rights and choice in their pharmacy services.”

The December 2020 9th Circuit Court ruling validated AHF’s earlier warning of the CVS threat to the HIV response back in 2018. See AHF press statement (Nov. 28, 2018) “CVS-Aetna Merger is Bad for HIV Patients.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel–Litigation for AHF +1.323.860.5361 w Jonathan.esienberg@ahf.org
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.791.5526 [cell] +.323.308.1833 [work] gedk@aidshealth.org
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy, AHF +1.202.774.4854 [cell] John.hassell@aidshealth.org

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Outten & Golden LLP: Former U.S. Department of Justice Employee Wins Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A Washington, D.C. federal-court jury awarded a longtime U.S. Department of Justice employee $445,000 in her gender discrimination lawsuit against the government, the law firm Outten & Golden LLP announced today.

After a five-day trial, the jury sided with Debra Stoe, who worked for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a DOJ agency, for 20 years. Stoe alleged she repeatedly was passed over for promotions in favor of less qualified and less accomplished men.

Stoe’s professional achievements included development of standards and testing required to ensure that law enforcement equipment and technology such as bulletproof vests is safe and effective.

In evidence presented at trial, Stoe’s supervisors recognized that she “revolutionized” the standards and testing program, and that she was “singularly responsible” for “moving it into the modern era.” Stoe was credited with saving the government “millions” of dollars and saving “countless lives” of law enforcement officers.

Outten & Golden Partner Susan E. Huhta said, “This case involved blatant gender discrimination by the federal government. We are grateful the jury rejected the government’s specious defense. The verdict is a complete vindication of an exemplary employee.”

Outten & Golden Partner Cassandra W. Lenning said, “The trial made clear the impact of Ms. Stoe’s work. On the final day of the trial, a former supervisor of Ms. Stoe’s thanked her from the stand and credited her with saving his police officer son’s life. His son was hit by a speeding car, and the bulletproof vest he was wearing saved his life.”

Debra Stoe said, “My career meant the world to me. The work I did was important. I hoped the DOJ hiring system would be fair, but the evidence showed it was not. I felt strongly that we had to take a stand against how the DOJ too often disregards women. The importance of the #MeToo movement really hits home when you see people like me whose hard work, superior qualifications, and experience were so casually and consistently overlooked. We showed that people and the DOJ hiring system were manipulated by the discriminator. I’m grateful for the jury’s findings.”

Huhta added, “Debra Stoe’s courage should serve as an inspiration to all women in the workplace. This verdict sends a message to all employers that discrimination in the workplace will not be tolerated, especially in the federal government.”

The case is “Stoe v. Garland,” Case 1:16-cv-01618-JDB in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

CONTACTS: Susan E. Huhta and Cassandra W. Lenning, Outten & Golden, 516.261.6080 or og@outtengolden.com.

About Outten & Golden LLP
Outten & Golden LLP focuses on advising and representing individuals in employment, partnership, and related workplace matters both domestically and internationally. The firm counsels individuals on employment and severance agreements; handles complex compensation and benefits issues (including bonuses, equity agreements, and partnership interests); and advises professionals (including doctors and lawyers) on contractual issues. It also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblower, and contract claims. The firm handles class actions involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, gender- and race-based discrimination, wage-and-hour violations, violations of the WARN Act, and other systemic workers’ rights issues.

Outten & Golden has nine practice groups: Executives & Professionals, Financial Services, Sexual Harassment & Sex Discrimination, Family Responsibilities & Disability Discrimination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights, Discrimination & Retaliation, Whistleblower Retaliation, Class & Collective Actions, and WARN Act.

Outten & Golden has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/outten–golden-llp-former-us-department-of-justice-employee-wins-gender-discrimination-lawsuit-301389255.html

SOURCE Outten & Golden LLP

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Twenty-Five Year Vanderbilt University Employee Files Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A 25-year, dedicated and honored Vanderbilt University employee represented by Rubenfeld Law has filed a Federal discrimination and retaliation lawsuit (link here) against her employer, after a two year pattern of harassment and hostile behavior toward her following her medically-necessary transition from male to female. The suit notes the “stunning hypocrisy” by Vanderbilt which presents itself as a leader in support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and students.

Olivia Hill, a US Navy combat veteran, was an exemplary employee of the Vanderbilt Power Plant for a quarter of a century, never receiving disciplinary action or negative reviews, and during that time held nearly every job in the Plant; created all of the control graphics for it; helped write the  Procedures for each piece of equipment; and received numerous awards including the ‘Vanderbilt Chancellor Heart and Soul Award,’ for “going far beyond her job expectations while carrying out the spirit and mission of Vanderbilt in all they do.”

Miss Hill is the first and only employee of Vanderbilt to transition while working there.

Following Ms. Hill’s acknowledgement to her supervisors in 2018 of the medical need to transition, Ms. Hill was subjected to numerous instances of hateful, vulgar and egregious harassment.  Although she properly followed all ‘University channels,’ ultimately her plea for help was ignored – and SHE was put on involuntary leave, while none of the harassers were punished and she was subjected to continued retaliation.  

“Although it is clear Ms. Hill continues to love Vanderbilt, she was left with no option but to seek legal protection and restitution for all she has suffered and lost,” explained Abby Rubenfeld, Ms. Hill’s attorney. “The way Olivia was treated violates federal and state law – and is consistent with Vanderbilt’s own policies and public presentation as allegedly being a model of LGBTQI tolerance and inclusion — and is simply the height of hypocrisy as well as illegal under numerous laws and statutes cited in the lawsuit.”

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/twenty-five-year-vanderbilt-university-employee-files-federal-discrimination-lawsuit-301389197.html

SOURCE Rubenfeld Law Office PC

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NLLG Attorney Helps Win Landmark Appellate Decision on Employment Rights

Ruling protects the rights of transgender employees against discrimination in the workplace

OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A federal court of appeals recently directed that a professor who was denied tenure and lost her job at a state university in Oklahoma due to her transgender status must be reinstated, with tenure, at the university. Brittany M. Novotny, an attorney at National Litigation Law Group (NLLG) in Oklahoma City, played a key role in the successful trial and appeal.

National Litigation Law Group - NLLG offers experienced and committed representation to consumers across the U.S. who need to defend legal actions brought against them by credit card and financial services companies. With in-house attorneys licensed in more than thirty-five states, and our network of legal affiliates, we are equipped to protect consumer rights in any jurisdiction. NLLG is committed to providing other innovative legal services to individuals and businesses. https://www.nationlit. (PRNewsfoto/National Litigation Law Group)

Novotny was a member of the trial team that helped win a jury verdict in 2017 for the professor, Dr. Rachel Tudor, and she also was instrumental in drafting the briefs to the Court of Appeals, along with attorneys Ezra Young from New York, and Marie Galindo from Texas. At the 2017 trial, a federal court jury in Oklahoma City found that Southeastern Oklahoma State University had discriminated against Dr. Tudor on the basis of her transgender status when they denied her tenure, which then resulted in Dr. Tudor losing her job at the University. Although the jury had found in Dr. Tudor’s favor and had awarded money damages, the trial judge denied her request to be reinstated with tenure at the University. The damages award was appealed by the University, and Dr. Tudor appealed the trial judge’s refusal to reinstate her with tenure.

The appellate decision in Dr. Tudor’s case was delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a separate case, Bostock v. Clayton County , and whether discrimination against a transgender employee constituted discrimination on the basis of sex, which is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Last year the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the transgender employee on that question, setting the stage for a decision on Dr. Tudor’s appeal. On September 13, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found in favor of Dr. Tudor, and further directed the trial judge to reinstate Dr. Tudor to her former position, with tenure, as Dr. Tudor had requested.

“It was a true team effort to help Dr. Tudor find justice in our federal court system,” Novotny stated. “I am honored to have played a role in affirming the rights of transgender Americans to have employment decisions made free from discrimination. Dr. Tudor won a tremendous victory at trial, but it was not complete with her being denied reinstatement. Even after the Supreme Court’s later decision in Bostock, Dr. Tudor’s reinstatement was not assured, so I was thrilled with the Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in her favor.”

In ruling for Dr. Tudor, the Court of Appeals stated emphatically that, “it is established—and we cannot now question—that Dr. Tudor would have been granted tenure in 2009-10 absent the discrimination.”  In directing that Dr. Tudor should be reinstated with tenure, the Court of Appeals said they were “restoring Dr. Tudor to the position she would have been in had Southeastern not engaged in prohibited discrimination against her.”

National Litigation Law Group, the firm that employs Novotny, was founded in 2014, and has focused on representing consumer debtors against credit card companies and other unsecured creditors.  NLLG also represents clients in other types of litigation matters.  For more information about the recent appeal decision in favor of Dr. Tudor, you can contact Brittany Novotny at bnovotny@nationlit.com, or Mark Grossman, the chief executive officer of NLLG, at mgrossman@nationlit.com.

SOURCE National Litigation Law Group

mt

nationlit.com

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Activision Blizzard Provides Update on Workplace Initiatives

Company Continues to Work with Regulators to Resolve and Address Workplace Issues

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) said today that it continues to work with regulators on addressing and resolving workplace complaints it has received. The Company also provided an update on recent initiatives to achieve its goal of ensuring a workplace that is inspiring, equitable, and respectful to all.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”

Kotick also said that the Company continues to productively engage with regulators, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) with the goal of improving its workplace policies and procedures and ensuring compliance.

The Company is actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC and has cooperated with the EEOC’s investigation concerning certain employment practices. It also confirmed that it is complying with a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena issued to the Company and several current and former employees and executives regarding disclosures on employment matters and related issues. The Company is confident in its prior disclosures and is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

Activision Blizzard has made a number of important improvements including significant changes to personnel, exiting a number of employees, and expanding compliance resources. In addition, the Company has refreshed its HR organization and, this week, will welcome a new Chief People Officer, Julie Hodges, who joins the Company from The Walt Disney Company. The Company has also expanded training, performance management, and anti-harassment resources.

The Company remains committed to ensuring it is the most welcoming, inclusive game company and connecting and engaging its 400 million players through epic entertainment created by the very best people in the industry.

About Activision Blizzard

Our mission, to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more important. Through communities rooted in our video game franchises we enable hundreds of millions of people to experience joy, thrill and achievement. We enable social connections through the lens of fun, and we foster purpose and a sense of accomplishment through healthy competition. Like sport, but with greater accessibility, our players can find purpose and meaning through competitive gaming. Video games, unlike any other social or entertainment media, have the ability to break down the barriers that can inhibit tolerance and understanding. Celebrating differences is at the core of our culture and ensures we can create games for players of diverse backgrounds in the 190 countries our games are played.

As a member of the Fortune 500 and as a component company of the S&P 500, we have an extraordinary track record of delivering superior shareholder returns for over 30 years.

Our enduring franchises are some of the world’s most popular, including Call of Duty®, Crash Bandicoot™, World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, Candy Crush™, Bubble Witch™, Pet Rescue™ and Farm Heroes™. Our sustained success has enabled the company to support corporate social responsibility initiatives that are directly tied to our franchises. As an example, our Call of Duty Endowment has helped find employment for over 85,000 veterans.

Learn more information about Activision Blizzard and how we connect and engage the world through epic entertainment on the company’s website, www.activisionblizzard.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to numerous important factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from the Company’s current expectations. These and other risks are described in the Company’s periodic reports, including the annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statements that the Company makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Contacts

Investors and Analysts:

ir@activisionblizzard.com
or

Press:

pr@activisionblizzard.com

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Booking.com research reveals barriers and opportunities for Australian LGBTIQ+ Travellers

– Half of LGBTIQ+ travellers (46%) report they have experienced some form of discrimination when travelling

SYDNEY, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, leading digital travel platform Booking.com released new research revealing half of Australian LGBTIQ+ travellers have experienced some form of discrimination when traveling.

With travel restrictions resulting in this year’s Winter Pride in New Zealand being cancelled, and this key moment of travel and celebration put on hold for LGBTIQ+ communities, it’s more important than ever to reflect on the challenges they face. With this campaign, Booking.com aims to create a more inclusive experience when travel becomes a possibility again.

According to the research, 66% say they have to consider their safety and wellbeing as an LGBTIQ+ traveller when picking a destination and over half (57%) believe traveling as part of the LGBTIQ+ community means that some destinations are off limits.

As evidenced by this research with LGBTIQ+ travellers, and despite some positive signals, a substantial portion of the global population doesn’t feel like they can show up as themselves when they travel. In light of this, Booking.com today announced its Proud Hospitality training program for its accommodation partners.

The first step for an accommodation provider to become a Proud Certified property on the Booking.com platform is a 75-minute online Proud Hospitality training session. After completing the online course and making a commitment to deliver a more inclusive experience, Proud Certified partners will receive a Travel Proud badge on their property page.

“Everything we do at Booking.com is about enabling smoother and more enjoyable travel experiences for everyone – no matter where they come from, who they love or how they identify,” said Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.

“One in five Australian LGBTIQ+ travellers say they are hopeful about being able to travel without restrictions or limitations in the next five years. We firmly believe we can get there together and that everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always.”

The training is available free of charge to Booking.com property partners. The program is also rolling out to partners in the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

CONTACT DETAILS

For further information, contact the Booking.com Australia Press Office team: bookingau@redhavas.com.

SOURCE Booking.com

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CONTACT: +61 433 964 311

https://www.booking.com

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New Consumer Research Shows 1 in 4 Patients Concerned About Discrimination in Healthcare

Shared Traits Common Between Patients and Providers

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthSparq, a healthcare guidance and transparency company, today announced new consumer research on how discrimination shapes healthcare interactions and provider selection. The survey found one in four people are very or extremely concerned about discrimination in healthcare due to their race or the language they speak. These and other survey findings highlight the unique opportunity health plans have to address system inequities by helping patients find providers they trust.

Notable findings include:

  • Nearly half of people who identify as LGBTQ feel they have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation.
  • Among African Americans who have experienced discrimination, 77% feel it was due to their ethnicity or race.
  • Shared traits are extremely common between patients and providers: two-thirds of respondents reported having a doctor of the same gender. Shared race is also frequent.
  • When selecting providers, location and gender are more important when it comes to choosing a PCP, while specialization, experience, affiliation, and education/training are more important when choosing a specialist.

Discrimination not only impacts the care people seek, but being discriminated against drives them to take action. When faced with discrimination, 61% report switching providers, 21% discuss the discrimination with someone else at the provider’s office, and 7% change insurance coverage.

“Both data and personal stories continue to underscore that healthcare isn’t equitable in this country. Factors such as race, income, and zip code result in lower quality healthcare and outcomes,” said Mark Menton, General Manager of HealthSparq. “With this survey, we wanted to find out what’s most important for people in historically underrepresented groups as they navigate healthcare and choose providers. We found that people often seek providers they share traits with, like common language, gender and race. In fact, shared traits seem to be a powerful indicator of the patient-provider relationship. About half of consumers feel that having shared traits with their healthcare providers assures better care and more open discussion.”

The survey revealed what people look for when selecting care, which coupled with findings related to discrimination, present an opportunity to help connect patients with the providers they want most. In addition to shared traits, respondents reported a variety of characteristics important when researching providers or selecting a new provider, with quality of care at the top of the list, followed by education, ratings/reviews, specialization in age/condition, and treatment philosophy.

Six in ten respondents report using their health insurance plan’s website to gather information on providers, which underscores the important role health plans have in facilitating trusting relationships between patients and providers. By offering more robust provider information in their online directories, health plans can enable individuals to self-select a provider who they share traits with and can trust. While sharing more detailed provider information will not solve decades of unequal access to care and discrimination, it is one step in the right direction to improving access and outcomes.

To download the full report, visit: https://bit.ly/ProviderLikeMe

About HealthSparq

At HealthSparq, we help people make smarter healthcare choices by partnering with health plans to share cost and quality information about doctors, hospitals, medical services, and medications. Serving more than 80 million members across the country, we put people at the core of everything we do by conducting continuous usability testing, turning consumer research into product innovations, hosting industry panels featuring everyday people, and bringing human stories to the forefront through our #WTFix campaign. Using these insights, we create solutions to help people understand and navigate the healthcare system better than ever before.

Born inside a health plan in Portland, OR, we’ve been growing since our 2012 corporate founding. In 2021, we became part of Kyruus, the leader in provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems, to pursue a shared vision of connecting people to the right care. Contact us at HealthSparq.com or tweet us @HealthSparq.

Contacts

Kara McCrudden

Aria Marketing for HealthSparq

401-474-3308

kmccrudden@ariamarketing.com

A Letter From CEO Bobby Kotick to All Employees – Responding to Recent Horrific Sexual Harassment Frat-boy Culture

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick today sent the following letter to all employees.

July 27, 2021

This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters – and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.

It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear.

We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind.

We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I have asked the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately. The WilmerHale team will be led by Stephanie Avakian, who is a member of the management team at WilmerHale and was most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to use any of our many existing channels for reporting or to reach out to Stephanie. She and her team at WilmerHale will be available to speak with you on a confidential basis and can be reached at ATVI@wilmerhale.com or 202-247-2725. Your outreach will be kept confidential. Of course, NO retaliation will be tolerated.

We are committed to long-lasting change. Effective immediately, we will be taking the following actions:

  1. Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  2. Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  3. Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  4. Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.
  5. In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible.

You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together, and we will be the most inspiring, inclusive entertainment company in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to numerous important factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from the Company’s current expectations. These and other risks are described in the Company’s periodic reports, including the annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statements that the Company makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Contacts

Investors and Analysts:

ir@activisionblizzard.com
or

Press:

pr@activisionblizzard.com

Mediaplanet and Frankie Grande Team Up to Promote LGBTQ+ Empowerment

NEW YORK, June 29, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Helping to conclude Pride Month, Mediaplanet today announces the launch of this June’s edition of “LGBTQ+ Empowerment.” With Pride Month coming to an end, this campaign wants to provide tools to empower the LGBTQ+ community year-round. The campaign highlights organizations who are implementing changes everywhere from workplace safety and inclusion to disparities in healthcare and access to equal services.

As the country continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes toward LGBTQ+ Americans and their experiences remain underexamined. More than one in three LGBTQ+ Americans faced discrimination of some kind in the past year, including more than three in five transgender people. While the United States has grown since the Stonewall riots in 1969, there is still much improvement needed.

The print component of “LGBTQ+ Empowerment” is distributed within today’s edition of USA Today in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Washington DC/Baltimore markets, with a circulation of approximately 150,000 copies and an estimated readership of 450,000. The digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy, and across a network of top news sites and partner outlets. To explore the digital version of the campaign, visit: https://www.modernwellnessguide.com/campaign/lgbtq-empowerment/

Long-time LGBTQ+ activist Frankie Grande graces the cover of the print publication. In an exclusive interview, Grande why homophobic bullying online had such a traumatic impact on him, and how he’s learned to manage his social media content creation without spinning out of control. “I had worked so hard to build a community of support so that I felt comfortable being my out proud, gay rainbow, loving, glitter-wearing self. And that was the thing that people started bullying me for,” Grande said. “It was just for being who I am.”

This campaign was made possible with the support of GEICO, REALI, Guaranteed Rate, Mountainside Treatment Center, and Calmerry.

About Mediaplanet
Mediaplanet specializes in the creation of content marketing campaigns covering a variety of industries. We tell meaningful stories that educate our audience and position our clients as solution providers. Our unique ability to pair the right leaders with the right readers, through the right platforms, s made Mediaplanet a global content marketing powerhouse. Our award-winning stories have won the hearts of countless readers while serving as a valuable platform for brands and their missions. Just call us storytellers with a purpose. Please visit http://www.mediaplanet.com for more on who we are and what we do.

Press Contact:
Danielle Elbert
danielle.elbert@mediaplanet.com
(646) 518-5421

Media Contact

Donna Nuriel, Mediaplanet, 3053007088, donna.nuriel@mediaplanet.com

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LGBTQ Employees Still Face Legal Discrimination - OutBuro Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking GLBT Company Queer Bisexual Transgender

LGBTQ Employees Still Face Legal Discrimination

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people less likely to be hired, paid less, and not promoted. Political leaders change, and with that change, the federal, state and local government profess can be great or take steps backward. So it’s up to the corporate world to provide the protections and advances for their employees. When companies focus on Diversity and Inclusion it benefits the company, the shareholders and the employees.

American everyday people attitudes have changed considerably in the last decade. The more comfortable LGBT people are coming out and being visible within the family, in their neighborhoods/communities and at work, the more others see them and get to know them. This removes the fear of “other” and “not like me”. I’ve had a saying for several years that is, “visibility leads to awareness and awareness leads to equality. In 2017, 63% of Americans said gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers should be accepted by society according to a Pew Research Center survey. In 2006 only a razor-thin 51% of Americans stated they agreed with that statement. This change in attitudes by every day Americans may be the reason for the changes in corporate diversity and inclusion work culture. As of now, right about 89% of Fortune 500 companies have implemented company LGBTQ friendly and supportive policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation studies conducted by the Human Rights Campaign. However, even with these changing beliefs and attitudes, the local, state, federal laws have not yet caught up with the changing tide.

There is currently no nation-wide law to protect gender and sexual minorities from employment discrimination in the private sector or under most states employment laws. In the majority of the US states, being fired due to sexual orientation or gender orientation is a huge risk and reality. In Arkansas, the state government went as far as passing a law to prevent local governments from passing separate laws to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender orientation.

Twenty-eight states have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation for public employees according to Lambda Legal. Some argue that providing protections for LGBTQ people in at work violates the religious freedom of the business owner or other employees. Some companies/organizations prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ workers if they work for the state but have no law extending to private sector employers.

In a past article titled “LGBT Workers in over half of the United States lack full protection”, we compared the legal protection each state offers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender orientation. Check out this article for a graphic of the United States coverage of LGBT state-level protections.

What Can Companies Do to Improve Work Culture for LGBT Employees?

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