Activision Blizzard announces $18 million settlement in workplace discrimination case

▲ Activision Blizzard headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Image via Activision Blizzard

 

On Monday evening, Activision Blizzard announced a settlement to a lawsuit against the company brought on by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 

According to the lawsuit, the EEOC conducted a three-year investigation from September 26, 2018 through June 15, 2021 into the company and found numerous instances of: "Subjecting female employees to sex-based discrimination, including harassment, based on their gender. Retaliating against female employees for complaining about sex-based discrimination, based on their gender. Paying female employees less than male employees, based on their gender."

 

After agreeing to cooperate in the investigation and the terms of the settlement, Activision Blizzard released a statement stating that they were creating an $18 million fund to "compensate and make amends to eligible claimants. Any amounts not used for claimants will be divided between charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as approved by the EEOC. "

 

The agreement is pending court approval.

 

 

Bobby Kotick, the Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, released the following statement:
"There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences. I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.”

 

In addition to the fund, Activision Blizzard will be upgrading their hiring practices and training to "prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination in the workplace." 

 

If approved, Activision Blizzard, the creator of titles in the Call of Duty franchise and Overwatch, said they will adhere to the terms for a minimum of three years.

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