Judge Approves Activision Blizzard’s $18 Million Settlement in Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment Case

In September 2021, Activision Blizzard agreed to terms to settle one of its high-profile gender discrimination lawsuits, and that settlement has now been approved. A federal court announced Tuesday that it will approve Activision Blizzard’s proposed settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the next step toward creating an $18 million fund. dollars to compensate and redress workers affected by gender discrimination and harassment complaints. within the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will create an $18 million fund for eligible claimants and take steps to improve its “policies, practices and training” to help prevent harassment and discrimination in the future. . Additionally, Activision Blizzard said it will work with a “neutral, third-party equal employment opportunity consultant” to provide oversight of Activision Blizzard’s compliance. This person will be an EEOC-approved non-Activision Blizzard employee. This person will report their findings directly to the EEOC and the Activision Blizzard Board of Directors.

Additionally, Activision said it hired Stacy Jackson on March 16 to become the company’s new EEO coordinator. The company went on to say that it also has a new zero-tolerance policy for harassment and retaliation companywide, while the size of its ethics and compliance team has “quadrupled” in size.

Activision Blizzard also said it had “significantly increased” its investment in ethics and compliance training, as it now does better on pay equity transparency and diversity representation, said the society. The Call of Duty giant donated $1 million to Women in Games International and waived forced arbitration for individual sexual harassment and discrimination claims for those relating to events that occurred after October 28, 2021.

Additionally, Activision Blizzard said it has a new internal tool that tracks data on the representation and presence of women and candidates from underrepresented ethnic groups at all stages of the hiring process. Additionally, Activision Blizzard said it now has “stricter policies” regarding alcohol consumption.

Activision Blizzard aims to increase the representation of women and non-binary workers by 50% over the next five years. Additionally, Activision Blizzard will spend $250 million over the next decade to “nurture expanded opportunities in games and technology for underrepresented communities.”

Activision Blizzard is also facing legal action from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for sexual harassment and wage violations, among other things. This case is ongoing.

The EEOC and DFEH were at odds in the case, with the DFEH trying to intervene but ultimately had its position overruled by a judge, according to NPR. Anyone who accepts money from the EEOC settlement cannot receive payment from the DFEH lawsuit, if it is finalized.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who is personally accused of knowing about and covering up sexual harassment and other abuse, is reportedly set to leave the company after the proposed Activision Blizzard takeover by Microsoft for $68.7 billion.

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