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. uuuhname's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    So your logic is people only speak if they take something personally. What an incredibly naive and narrow minded view. Perhaps you two should talk, you'll enjoy the echo chamber.
    you called him a misandrist, for saying disparaging things about gamers, not men, GAMERS. that right there goes to show that to you to be a gamer you have to be a man. so, as I said, a hit dog hollers.
  1. Relapses's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    You honestly don't understand how setting a number like that is a quota?
    Considering we a.) have no fucking idea what that number is right now, and b.) it's a commitment not a guarantee, no, this is not them saying that there's a quota. They're looking to increase diversity, not deny qualified applicants because they don't fit a certain demographic. You don't have to sacrifice one to have the other.
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    Or you're just trying to demonize your opponents with unprovable accusations since you have no arguments.
    You're trolling now, right? Responding with the oldest 4chan troll response?

    Whatever, dude.
  1. Feanoro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    You're trolling now, right? Responding with the oldest 4chan troll response?

    Whatever, dude.
    You accused me of something, burden of proof is on you. If pointing that out is trolling, I've got bad news for you about the entire world's legal systems.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by uuuhname View Post
    you called him a misandrist, for saying disparaging things about gamers, not men, GAMERS. that right there goes to show that to you to be a gamer you have to be a man. so, as I said, a hit dog hollers.
    Or I read the post and the language made very clear that men were the target. Sexism isn't cool either way.
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    Except they're not "increasing the scope of potential hires", they're setting quotas based on skin and genitals. If anything, they're setting an artificial limit on their scope. I don't expect you to understand that or why such policies are ridiculously racist and sexist.
    "Increasing the scope of potential hires" refers to recruiting. When you recruit from one smallish homogenous group, say cis-white males under the age of 30, you are limiting your recruiting pool. This means over the long run you end up with a lot of mediocre hires because consciously or not you've reduced the size of the pool of candidates that you look at for hiring. Indeed, "hiring the best candidate for the job" means—whether anyone realizes it or not—to reach out to under-represented groups, enlarge and diversify your pool of recruits. "Hiring the best candidate for the job" when you are only looking at an extremely limited population of potential hires is rarely how it works out. They are not hiring the best candidate regardless of background, they hiring the best candidate of a very specific background. A wider net for recruits increases the chance that they will see the best candidates.

    There's nothing in this that says they're setting quotas.

    One more thing: When hiring for entry level development and support positions, qualifications mean less than people imagine. It's entry-level: a lot of experience is not necessarily required.
  1. Feanoro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MoanaLisa View Post
    "Increasing the scope of potential hires" refers to recruiting. When you recruit from one smallish homogenous group, say cis-white males under the age of 30, you are limiting your recruiting pool. This means over the long run you end up with a lot of mediocre hires because consciously or not you've reduced the size of the pool of candidates that you look at for hiring. Indeed, "hiring the best candidate for the job" means—whether anyone realizes it or not—to reach out to under-represented groups, enlarge and diversify your pool of recruits. "Hiring the best candidate for the job" when you are only looking at an extremely limited population of potential hires is rarely how it works out. There's nothing in this that says they're setting quotas.
    Please provide proof that their recruiting was officially limited to a group. If there was no such policy or proof of recruiters actively limiting the pool, any claims otherwise are pure speculation. Had such an official policy existed or evidence of such actions, they'd be getting much bigger penalties, in the form of a judgment rather than a settlement. If such proof does exist, I both expect and want them to get such a judgment.

    Unless/until that happens, statements about increasing their scope are PR. If the goal is to hire the best candidate, then you don't even consider skin or genitals unless you somehow think those affect the candidate's abilities. Stating that you're explicitly considering those factors is racist and sexist.
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    Please provide proof that their recruiting was officially limited to a group. If there was no such policy or proof of recruiters actively limiting the pool, any claims otherwise are pure speculation. Had such an official policy existed or evidence of such actions, they'd be getting much bigger penalties, in the form of a judgment rather than a settlement. If such proof does exist, I both expect and want them to get such a judgment.

    Unless/until that happens, statements about increasing their scope are PR. If the goal is to hire the best candidate, then you don't even consider skin or genitals unless you somehow think those affect the candidate's abilities. Stating that you're explicitly considering those factors is racist and sexist.
    You don't need an active policy. You simply need an office and an old-boy management culture that tolerates it. What do you imagine these lawsuits about hiring practices, equal pay, turn a blind eye towards abuse of women, and all of the other stuff that got Blizzard hauled into court? You hire a lot of friends of friends, you have a male management group that objectifies, abuses women, and covers for each other as we have seen. No idiot is going to write down "We'll only recruit certain kinds of people." It just happens, sometimes unconsciously.

    In any case, there are no quotas expressed in the settlement that you can point to, just a commitment to do better. That means to recruit wider and let the subsequent results fall where they may. It's been shown time and time again in different industries that diversified recruiting will over time lead to a more diversified office and corporate culture. It's not difficult to understand.
  1. nnelson54's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanoro View Post
    You accused me of something, burden of proof is on you.
    You've been doing a pretty good job of proving it for them.
  1. Chapel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GUZ View Post
    oh coo...everyone gets 10 dollars please file a claim for a roll of quarters.
    More like $2.1k each if everyone (who is a functional employee) gets to claim redress...

    But seeing that there is closer to less than 500 that are genuinely affected...

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