Activision Blizzard has offered $18 million to settle its federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which a court judge has approved.
Activision Blizzard was hit with the lawsuit by the EEOC in September last year, whereby employees from September 1, 2016 and onwards, could file for compensation against sexual harassment, retaliation, or discrimination. The agreement has since come under strong contention from critics, especially the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
The EEOC and the DFEH – the former being a Federal agency and the latter a State agency – have been in disagreement over how much sexual harassment and discrimination victims should be entitled to as compensation, with the DFEH being far more aggressive about the compensation amount. Unfortunately, the agreement made between Activision Blizzard and the EEOC could detriment the DFEH case which is scheduled to go to court in February 2023, as the DFEH is advocating for a higher compensation amount.
Washington Post reported that victims of the EEOC case cannot also be part of the DFEH case, as they both address the same compensation claims for sexual harassment and discrimination. Labour union, Communications Workers of America, stated last year October that the proposed amount of $18 million by Activision Blizzard, was “woefully inadequate”, stating that it would only provide “maximum settlement for 60 workers”, noting that there were far more workers affected.
Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby 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.”