• Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

Activision Blizzard settles with Federal Employment Agency for $ 25 million (update)

ByWarren E. Owens

Sep 28, 2021

Activision Blizzard has just released a press release stating that it has reached an agreement to settle the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit that has just been revealed. It states in part:

Under the agreement… Activision Blizzard has committed to create an $ 18 million ($ 25) fund to compensate and repair eligible claimants. Any unspent amounts for applicants will be distributed among charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness of harassment and gender issues as well as diversity initiatives, corporate equity and inclusion, as endorsed by the EEOC. The agreement is subject to court approval.

The release also includes a statement from CEO Bobby Kotick:

There is nowhere in our company for discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who courageously shared their experiences. I apologize that anyone has experienced inappropriate conduct, and I remain steadfast in my commitment to making Activision Blizzard one of the most inclusive, respected and respectful workplaces in the world.

Kotick, of course, receives $ 154 million ($ 211 million) in effective compensation in 2021, which means he could easily cover the $ 18 million ($ 25) million cost of settling the EEOC lawsuit. Many times.

The original story follows.

Another federal agency, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is now suing Call of Duty and World of warcraft publisher Activision Blizzard.

Recently released court documents shed light on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, which was referenced last week by CEO Bobby Kotick in a press release to investors. This new EEOC complaint focuses on allegations of gender-based discrimination and harassment at Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, and follows last week’s announcement according to which the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating the company and its CEO. .

Last week it became publicly known that the EEOC was investigating Activision Blizzard to some extent thanks to Kotick disclosing that the company “continues to productively engage with regulators,” including the EEOC, in a press release for investors. This press release was issued in response to a different and large-scale investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The publisher and even Kotick himself have been subpoenaed as a result of this ongoing legal investigation.

Documents released today confirm that the EEOC is indeed suing the game publisher and associated parties for multiple allegations of gender-based discrimination and harassment. According to court documents, Activision Blizzard and King Games are directly named in the lawsuit along with 10 currently anonymous individuals who likely work or have worked at both companies. The EEOC notes that it may amend the document to name these currently unknown individuals at a later date.

As spotted by The edge, the EEOC complaint states that it informed Activision Blizzard of its findings on June 15. But it turns out that he began his investigation in September 2018. “In-depth conciliation discussions” followed with Activision. But the EEOC has been unable to secure any sort of “acceptable conciliation agreement” through these “more informal methods,” so now it is suing and seeking a jury trial on the allegations uncovered during its investigation.

Image: Activision

This is just the latest in a series of legal issues facing the big publisher.

Activision Blizzard’s public legal troubles began in July when he was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing after a multi-year investigation uncovered stories of several women experiencing continued harassment and abuse while they were working in the company. This disclosure led several executives to apologize or even quit the struggling publisher. At the same time, Blizzard games that contain references to the names of suspected attackers are cleaned up by the developers to remove those references from the live games.

Investors filed a second lawsuit against the publisher in August, which related to when Activision Blizzard disclosed its ongoing issues of sexual harassment and discrimination.

The ongoing fallout from the California lawsuit and more recent legal complaints have led current employees to step down, with more stories of workplace abuse becoming public, with gamers and streamers boycotting games like World of warcraft, and more high-level employees leaving the company, such as Overwatch 2 ′executive producer.

In that investor press release issued on September 21, in which Kotick first mentioned a new EEOC complaint, Kotick said the company “continues to work with regulators to address and resolve complaints at the venue. of work she received “. Meanwhile, California accused the publisher of shredding evidence of abuse and failing to cooperate with the investigation.


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