Judge Approves Activision Blizzard's $18 Million Settlement with the EEOC
U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer has approved the $18m settlement between Activision Blizzard and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, bringing this federal sexual harassment lawsuit to an end.

  • Anyone who worked at Activision Blizzard starting on September 1, 2016 can submit a claim for compensation.
  • EEOC's lawsuit is just one of many lawsuits that the company has faced for its workplace culture.
  • Activision Blizzard continues to face lawsuits filled by other former employees and the DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing).
  • The judge denied DFEH's intervention in the EEOC lawsuit, and claimants that apply to receive money from the EEOC settlement will waive any rights to any monetary relief provided by the DFEH lawsuit.
  • Activision Blizzard continues to face an investigation by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) over its handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

Originally Posted by Activision Blizzard
SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 29, 2022-- This morning the federal court indicated it would approve Activision Blizzard’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) settlement with the EEOC today. That settlement paves the way to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants.

“The agreement we reached with the EEOC last year reflected our unwavering commitment to ensure a safe and equitable working environment for all employees,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. “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.”

As part of the agreement with the EEOC, Activision agreed to:

  • Create an $18 million fund to compensate eligible claimants.
  • Continue enhancing policies, practices, and training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace, including by implementing an expanded performance-review system. These improvements are underway.
  • Engage a neutral, third-party equal employment opportunity consultant – a non-employee who must be approved by the EEOC – who will provide ongoing oversight of the Company’s compliance with the agreement. This independent consultant’s findings will be reported directly to the EEOC and Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors.
  • Hire an internal EEO coordinator with relevant experience in gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation to assist the Company. Stacy Jackson began this position on March 16.

Today’s milestones come as Activision continues to enhance its workplace culture. Activision has already taken the following steps:

  • Developed a new zero-tolerance policy on harassment and retaliation company-wide;
  • Quadrupled the size of its Ethics & Compliance team, adding a VP of Ethics and Compliance, a Senior Director of Investigations, a Senior Manager of Ethics & Compliance Analytics & Assessments, a Director of Ethics and Compliance Investigations and Third Party Risk Management, two Directors of Workplace Investigations, and two Directors of Ethics who support training initiatives and our Way2Play Heroes, who are employee volunteers who help others understand reporting options, champion speaking up, and advise leadership on how to strengthen our overall ethics and compliance program;
  • Significantly increased investment in related training;
  • Enhanced transparency with new reporting on pay equity and diversity representation;
  • Contributed $1 million to WIGI to advance the success of women in the global games industry;
  • Waived required arbitration for individual sexual harassment and discrimination claims for claims arising out of events after October 28, 2021;
  • Launched a new tool that tracks–for every single hire–data on the representation and presence of women and underrepresented ethnic group candidates at applicant, interview, and hiring stages of our recruiting process. This tool will enable us to provide transparency on our diversity progress as well as helping to reinforce our objective of having diverse candidate slates for open positions;
  • Developed stricter alcohol policies company-wide;
  • Recently launched Your Upward Feedback program, which facilitated more than 90% of our managers receiving personal feedback;
  • Launched Level Up U, a paid training program designed to teach participants game development and prepare successful program participants for engineering roles within the Company.

In addition, in October 2021, Activision set a goal of increasing the representation of women and non-binary employees by 50% in the next five years. It also has committed to invest $250 million over the next 10 years in initiatives that foster expanded opportunities in gaming and technology for under-represented communities.

“We are gratified that the federal court that reviewed our settlement with the EEOC is finding that it is ‘fair, reasonable and adequate and advance(s) the public interest.’ The Court’s approval is a vital step in our journey to ensuring that everyone at Activision Blizzard always feels safe, heard and empowered. We hope the court’s findings – including its view that many of the objections raised about our settlement were inaccurate and speculative – will dispel any confusion that may exist. With all of the terms of the settlement reviewed and approved, we can move forward,” Kotick concluded.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Judge Approves Activision Blizzard's $18 Million Settlement with the EEOC started by Lumy View original post
Comments 129 Comments
  1. ExtremelyCrusty's Avatar
    This is pocket change for them. They need to start fining them a reasonable amount.
  1. Drusin's Avatar
    Pretty much the expected outcome.
  1. Gorsameth's Avatar
    Settlement for pocket change and nothing really changing?

    Business as usual.
  1. wombinator04's Avatar
    Guess we'll have to lose another raid tier next expac
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Barely a pittance. Disgusting. They would have to multiply that number by a hundred times before it even dented at their profits from last year. 180 million should've been the actual settlement... sigh.
  1. tomten's Avatar
    "In addition, in October 2021, Activision set a goal of increasing the representation of women and non-binary employees by 50% in the next five years. It also has committed to invest $250 million over the next 10 years in initiatives that foster expanded opportunities in gaming and technology for under-represented communities."

    This sure will create some amazing games in the coming 5-15 years, can't wait for it...
    Blizzard has been dead for a few years but this just cemented it lol...
  1. ONCHEhap's Avatar
    As per usual, rich people and huge corporations don't really have to worry about the law.

    Disappointed but not surprised
  1. Lorgar Aurelian's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gorsameth View Post
    Settlement for pocket change and nothing really changing?

    Business as usual.
    There have actually been quite a few changes.

    like 3/4 of the employee demands being met, 20 or so firings, new positions established for combat SH, new hiring practices out into place, big changes to HR with Aton of people leaving, devs being allowed to take stuff out of the games that abusers put in, employees working towards a union, and the biggest change Microsoft buying AB and Kotick leaving after the merger.
  1. Orby's Avatar
    They should have gotten the amount of Koticks leaving bonus, EACH

    Alas such the shitty world we live in where big corporations can get away with murder (literally, although I am sure we'll hear about that case later)
  1. jkq's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tomten View Post
    "In addition, in October 2021, Activision set a goal of increasing the representation of women and non-binary employees by 50% in the next five years. It also has committed to invest $250 million over the next 10 years in initiatives that foster expanded opportunities in gaming and technology for under-represented communities."

    This sure will create some amazing games in the coming 5-15 years, can't wait for it...
    Blizzard has been dead for a few years but this just cemented it lol...
    More Woman i dont care they will cut this down as soon as everything starts to suck even more. But People with Mental Health Issues ???? Wtf is this World turning into
  1. StillMcfuu's Avatar
    $18m means the claims were essentially scurrilous.
  1. Magnagarde's Avatar
    Depending on the number of people who need compensating, this could very well be a very good number because the compensation will come out of the fund. People here seem to have expected a compensation of $100 million per plaintiff for being touched inappropriately or being made fun of. I suppose that the fee reflects the proven charges and that it essentially means that nothing big happened in the direction of what was allegedly going on; I don't see the court being partisan in this case. In other words, Blizzard isn't the sex dungeon full of maniacs that they claimed it was.

    The sum shouldn't be based on the profit of the company either way, unless said profit is directly tied to the illegal actions that they were sued for. Other than that, Blizzard employees should have gotten more benefits over the years.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by StillMcfuu View Post
    $18m means the claims were essentially scurrilous.
    I guess that's essentially the tl dr way of explaining it.
  1. Daish's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    Barely a pittance. Disgusting. They would have to multiply that number by a hundred times before it even dented at their profits from last year. 180 million should've been the actual settlement... sigh.
    if this is a pittance why did they fire all the community support GM's that played WoW so they could offer better support and understanding
  1. Daish's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
    They should have gotten the amount of Koticks leaving bonus, EACH

    Alas such the shitty world we live in where big corporations can get away with murder (literally, although I am sure we'll hear about that case later)
    encourage people not to work for big corporations so bad stuff cant happen to them then

    or start your own big corporation
  1. Swnem's Avatar
    Yeah... this is a pretty lukewarm outcome.

    18M is nothing for a company this big.
  1. Cierah's Avatar
    $18M is pathetic and forcing affected people into an either/or for the damages is similarly pathetic. They should be able to get both. Sure there's mention there are other lawsuits in-flight, but still if the EEOC wanted to make a significant impact there should be a third digit on the tally. At $18M it is the equivalent of getting a box of popcorn and a stack of post-it notes as compensation.
    The only positive outcome is the EEOC-approved neutral third-party but even that can be viewed skeptically. Ideally that third-party should be ultimately approved by the people most affected, the employees.
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daish View Post
    if this is a pittance why did they fire all the community support GM's that played WoW so they could offer better support and understanding
    Because it's always about making the MAXIMUM amount of money they can. Even giving away a pittance is likely annoying to them. They want every single penny they can wring out of their customers and the government, that's just how it works. Who cares about if the customer is happy as long as they're still paying?
  1. Deventh's Avatar
    Why is Bobby Kotick not in jail? He knew about everything and covered it up. This is actual bullshi*.
  1. agentsi's Avatar
    all this for 18 million? and those people wonder why no one takes them seriously. Waste of time, and waste of human beings.
  1. melkesjokolade's Avatar
    So they literally just payed their way out of it. Disgusting

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