Activision Blizzard and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have settled the recent lawsuit over the company’s alleged sexual harassment and discrimination case. Activision Blizzard has agreed to create an $18 million fund that will compensate employees who claim damages through the lawsuit. Earlier this week, the EEOC officially filed a claim against the company that was based on a three-year investigation.
Even though the case was still ongoing, Activision Blizzard was in settlement talks with the EEOC. According to the Call of Duty publisher, they were actively engaging with the EEOC in order to settle the complaint against the company. The complaint covered multiple discrimination cases against Activision Blizzard that date back as far as September 2018.
The agreement will now force Activision Blizzard to cease any discriminatory practices while also offering a handful of new staff advances. This includes retaining a consultant to ensure the company is compliant with the settlements as well as upgrading its training and performance review processes to prevent any future offences. Activision Blizzard is also bound by law to submit to any future EEOC audits.
In a statement, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says they are pleased with the outcome and are committed to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
“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. Any unclaimed funds will go toward non-profit organizations that focus on advancing women in the video game and tech sectors or promoting awareness of gender quality, or toward future diversity and inclusion investment.”
The battle has just begun at the company. Activision Blizzard is currently facing a handful of investigations. This includes having its own investors fail to disclose the knowledge of the ongoing harassment. In addition, they are also facing a CODE-CWA for unfair labour practices including intimidating employees. The Journal also reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company for records pertaining to employment separation agreements.
This $18 million fund will go towards the most recent case that painted Activision Blizzard as a “frat house” where female employees were verbally and physically harassed without consequence.