Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that will create an $18 million fund to settle discrimination and harassment claims while promising to update company policies as a result.
According to a NYT report, the EEOC filed their own civil-rights complaint against Activision Blizzard alleging gender-based discrimination and harassment against employees, joining multiple branches of US agencies with similar inquiries looking into the publisher.
Hours later, Activision Blizzard announced its settlement via consent decree with the EEOC, to be approved by a judge, to create new initiatives within the company in combating workplace harassment and discrimination, as well as paying out “eligible claimants.”
“Activision Blizzard has committed to create an $18 million fund to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants,” a company press release said.
“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.”
CEO Bobby Kotick made a statement on Activision Blizzard’s new settlement amid the other lawsuits the company still faces.
“There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind,” Kotick said. “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.
“We will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfill our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace.”
An unnamed third-party equal opportunity consultant, who must be approved by the EEOC, will oversee Activision Blizzard’s compliance with the agreement. The terms of the agreement, unless stated otherwise, will last for three years.
The EEOC had been investigating the company since 2018, and the agreement comes in light of their formal complaint against Activision Blizzard earlier today.
By agreeing to the $18 million settlement, Activision Blizzard does not admit guilt to any wrongdoing of what the civil complaint claims and won’t face a jury trial demand made by the EOCC after its three-year investigation.