Monday, May 16, 2022

Judge approves Activision Blizzard’s $18 million harassment settlement with the EEOC

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A judge has approved Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The two organizations had announced the settlement in September, but it is now being signed after California state regulators tried to intervene.

Activision Blizzard has been under intense scrutiny since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a harassment lawsuit in July, alleging the company fostered a culture of “constant sexual harassment.” As part of the consent decree, Activision Blizzard will establish an $18 million settlement fund that will be used to compensate victims of harassment and discrimination. Employees who worked at the company between September 1, 2016 and Tuesday, March 29, can file a claim for “sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation.”

In addition, Activision Blizzard requires all “supervising employees” to receive training on harassment and discrimination and will expand mental health resources available to employees. The decree, approved Tuesday by Judge Dale S. Fischer, will remain in effect for three years. You can read the full document here or embedded at the bottom of this article.

The DFEH had argued that the consent decree could potentially harm its case against Activision Blizzard (which is ongoing) and sought to intervene. That included requesting arrest in the case, which Judge Fischer denied. In a hearing on Tuesday, the DFEH said it plans to appeal the consent decree.

“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflects our unwavering commitment to ensuring a safe and fair work environment for all employees,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. in a press release† “Our goal is to make Activision Blizzard a model for the industry, and we will continue to focus on eliminating harassment and discrimination in our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have redress options if they have experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”

Disclosure: Casey Wasserman serves on Activision Blizzard’s board of directors and on the board of directors for Vox Media, The Verges parent company.

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