Activision Blizzard, sued by US employment fee, agrees to $18M settlement

The U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee filed a grievance in opposition to Activision Blizzard on Monday, alleging that the online game writer subjected workers to sexual harassment, being pregnant discrimination, and/or associated retaliation.

The EEOC’s grievance notes that its investigation into Activision Blizzard started in September 2018. The fee alleges in its grievance that “some employees complained about the sexual harassment,” and that Activision Blizzard “knew or should have known” about these complaints, however that the corporate “failed to take corrective and preventive measures. Once Defendants knew or should have known of the sexual harassment [they] failed to take prompt and effective remedial action reasonably calculated to end the harassment.”

The EEOC’s lawsuit is separate from a similar complaint filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in July.

Following the EEOC’s submitting, Activision Blizzard announced that it had reached an settlement with the fee “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination in the company’s workplace.”

As a part of that settlement, Activision Blizzard mentioned it has dedicated to create an $18 million fund “to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants.” Cash not used to compensate claimants will go to “charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues as well as company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as approved by the EEOC,” the sport writer mentioned.

California’s DFEH sued Activision Blizzard in July, alleging that the corporate fosters a “frat boy” office tradition that topics its feminine workers to gender-based discrimination and “constant sexual harassment.” The DFEH later expanded its preliminary grievance to accuse Activision Blizzard of suppressing evidence

within the investigation. It additionally adjusted some language all through the lawsuit to explicitly include contingent and contract workers at Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard shareholders filed a separate lawsuit in August, alleging that negligent management broken share costs. Activision Blizzard can also be being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is wanting into how the corporate has dealt with worker allegations of office discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct.

Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO, said in a news release last week that the corporate is “engag[ing] with regulators,” together with the EEOC, the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (which accused the corporate of violating federal labor regulation in yet one more grievance), and the California DFEH “with the goal of improving its workplace policies and procedures and ensuring compliance.”

Inside its video games, builders on World of Warcraft and Overwatch are working to take away references to alleged abusers — including renaming characters and areas named after workers implicated within the lawsuit.

You possibly can learn extra concerning the allegations in opposition to Activision Blizzard in Polygon’s explainer.

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