The union that filed the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) complaint against Activision Blizzard has described the company’s $18M settlement as a "slap in the face" to the employees that suffered years of harassment and hostile working conditions. The settlement was agreed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday, Sept. 27.
The Campaign to Organise Digital Employees (CODE) put out a strongly worded statement on Twitter, condemning the deal, and citing the company’s $72B net worth as proof they are yet to take this issue seriously. They called on the groups involved in the other ongoing claims against Activision Blizzard to "truly hold Activision Blizzard accountable on behalf of the company's 10k workers".
As part of the EEOC settlement, Activision Blizzard claims they are "developing an initiative to create software tools and training programs to improve workplace policies and practices for other tech employers", but continue to deny any wrongdoing. This failure to be accountable for the harm caused by their employees was also called out by Sara Steffens, Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of American, in a statement posted on the CODE_CWA Twitter account.
This is only one of a number of ongoing complaints against Activision Blizzard, who released a statement in the wake of the EEOC settlement where they claimed to be committed to positive change, and that they wish to create the "most welcoming, inclusive workplace". Bobby Kotick was quoted in the statement, saying he was "sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct", and that the company will "will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace".
This is one of a number of suits or complaints the company is dealing with as a result of the years of harassment and toxicity experienced by employees, with cases from the Securities and Exchanges Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment still ongoing. The Communications Workers of America are also working with CODE and have filed with the NLRB claiming worker intimidation at the company, including coercive tactics.
Activision Blizzard may also be facing a suit from their own investors, who filed in August, claiming the company had withheld information about the case that could have a material effect on the value of the company. It seems as though the $18M is only the beginning of their efforts to move on from this story, but judging whether these cases will lead to long-term improvement at the publishing giant will have to wait until all cases are concluded.