Entertainment

Activision-Blizzard settles $18 million after sexual harassment lawsuit

Activision-Blizzard will be forced to create an $18 million fund to support victims of sexual harassment as part of a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The verdict was announced on March 29.

After a judge last week said he was ready to approve an $18 million settlement between Activision-Blizzard and the U.S. Commission on Equal Opportunities, details of the payout were released on March 29.

A last-minute appeal from California state officials was dismissed by US District Judge Dale Fischer.

First in many legal battles, the game developer will be forced to set up a fund “to compensate eligible claimants” as well as implement new policies to ensure this.

It comes after the company was originally sued in June 2021 over a “pervasive frat boy culture” in the workplace that accepted sexual harassment and discrimination.

Follow-up lawsuits have alleged that the company’s failure to act has resulted in physical and mental health problems, including an employee’s suicide.

The $18 million fund is open to all Activision Blizzard employees who have worked for the company between September 1, 2016 and now. The claim must relate specifically to sexual harassment, retaliation, or discrimination based on pregnancy to access the fund.

However, those accessing the federal lawsuit cannot participate in the California state-level lawsuit being conducted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) ⁠ — unless they can show they have a separate lawsuit that not covered by is the EEOC settlement.

After signing the consent agreement, the Activision-Blizzard CEO reassured employees that changes are coming.

“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflects our unwavering commitment to ensuring a safe and equitable work environment for all employees,” said Kotic.

Activision Blizzard HQ World of Warcraft statue
Activision Blizzard

Activision-Blizzard’s EEOC agreement is the first of potentially many.

“Our goal is to make Activision-Blizzard a model for the industry and we will remain focused on eliminating harassment and discrimination in our workplace. The court’s approval of this settlement is an important step in ensuring that our employees have a remedy if they experience any form of harassment or retaliation.”

The company has also pledged to “continue to improve policies, practices and training to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination,” as well as hiring new internal and external consultants to oversee the process.

California officials plan to appeal the “substance” of the settlement, believing it will undermine their own lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard.

https://www.dexerto.com/gaming/activision-blizzard-finalizes-18-million-settlement-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-1794258/ Activision-Blizzard settles $18 million after sexual harassment lawsuit

Emma Bowman

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