Activision-Blizzard will be forced to create an $18 million fund to support sexual harassment victims as part of a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The judgment was handed down on March 29.
After a judge said they were “ready to approve” an $18 million settlement between Activision-Blizzard and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week, the details in the payout have been finalized on March 29.
A last-minute objection by California state officials was dismissed by US District Judge Dale Fischer.
The first in many lawsuit settlements, the game developer will be forced to create a fund “to compensate eligible claimants” as well as implement new policies to ensure.
And it's official. Judge Fischer has signed the consent decree
Anyone who worked for Activision Blizzard King from Sept. 1 2016 through today and thinks they have a sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination or retaliation claim against the company will be able to file a claim https://t.co/ijQSWWow1f pic.twitter.com/tDveZoCxmN
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) March 30, 2022
It comes after the company was originally sued in June 2021 for a “pervasive frat-boy culture” in the workplace that accepted sexual harassment and discrimination.
Follow-up lawsuits have claimed the company’s lack of action led to physical and mental health problems, including an employee suicide.
The $18 million fund will be open to any Activision-Blizzard employee who worked at the company between September 1, 2016, to today. The claim must be specifically about sexual harassment, retaliation, or pregnancy discrimination to access the fund.
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However, those who access the federal claim will not be able to take part in the California state-level lawsuit, being led by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) — unless they can prove they have a separate claim not covered by the EEOC settlement.
Following the signing of the consent degree, Activision-Blizzard CEO assured employees change is coming.
“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflected our unwavering commitment to ensure a safe and equitable working environment for all employees,” Kotick said.
“Our goal is to make Activision-Blizzard a model for the industry, and we will continue to focus on eliminating harassment and discrimination from our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have mechanisms for recourse if they experienced any form of harassment or retaliation.”
The company has also promised to “continue enhancing policies, practices, and training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace,” as well as hire new internal and external consultants to help oversee the process.
Californian officials are planning on appealing the “substance” of the settlement, believing it will undermine their own lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard.