The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging unlawful gender discrimination and harassment.
In the legal complaint, the EEOC detailed an investigation into sex-based discrimination against female employees, retaliation against female employees for complaining about discrimination, and lower pay for female employees than male employees. If true, all three claims would constitute violations of Title VII which bans sex-based discrimination in the workplace.
According to the complaint, the EEOC carried out an "extensive investigation" from September 2018 through June of 2021. In June they issued the defendants a letter of determination, finding reasonable cause of the claims listed above.
Without going into deep detail, the EEOC alleges that they found multiple instances of unlawful incidents of sexual harassment "From pregnancy discrimination and/or to retaliation."
"Employees were subjected to sexual harassment that was severe and pervasive to alter the conditions of employment," the EEOC claimed. "The conduct was unwelcome and adversely affected the employees. The Defendants knew or should have known that the sexual harassment of the adversely affected employees."
They further argued that Activision Blizzard retaliated against employees who engaged in Title Vll protected activities, including rejecting sexual harassment complaints and complaints about pregnancy discrimination.
The new complaint is the latest legal challenge to Activision Blizzard, after the State of California revealed its own gender discrimination lawsuit earlier this year.
Activision Blizzard released a statement, responding to the new lawsuit. In that statement, they committed to making an $18 million USD fund to compensate the claimants against them in an agreement struck with the EEOC, with any unclaimed among going to charities that champion women and diversity in gaming.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.