Activision Blizzard to pay $18M to settle sex-harass lawsuit

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Video recreation big Activision Blizzard has agreed to pay $18 million to settle a sexual-harassment lawsuit introduced by the US authorities.

Activision, which is behind video games like “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft” and “Candy Crush,” settled the swimsuit by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday.

In a seven-page complaint filed earlier Monday in federal courtroom in California, the EEOC alleged that Activision uncovered workers to “severe or pervasive” sexual harassment. The company additionally allegedly discriminated in opposition to pregnant workers.

Activision failed to appropriately reply to complaints about discrimination and even retaliated in opposition to workers who spoke out, the grievance alleged.

The EEOC stated its lawsuit was based mostly on a three-year investigation, which went on throughout related inquiries by different state and federal regulators.

As a part of the settlement settlement, Activision Blizzard agreed to use the $18 million to set up a fund for workers who had been harassed or confronted discrimination. The company additionally agreed to strengthen its anti-harassment and anti-discrimination insurance policies.

Employees take part in a walkout at Activision Blizzard workplaces in Irvine, California on July 28, 2021.
Bing Guan/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Additionally, Activision stated it’s creating an initiative to create software instruments and coaching packages to enhance workplace insurance policies at different tech corporations.

“There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind, and I am grateful to the employees who bravely shared their experiences,” CEO Bobby Kotick said Monday in a press release.

“I am sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard one of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.”

Bobby Kotick is the CEO of Activision Blizzard.
REUTERS/Brian Losness

He added, “We will continue to be vigilant in our commitment to the elimination of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfill our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace.”

The allegations first emerged months in the past after California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company, alleging that Activision is a breeding floor for sexual harassment, with male employees fostering a “frat bro” tradition stuffed with rape jokes, crude feedback and groping that even drove one feminine worker to suicide.

The state’s investigation discovered that 80 % of Activision’s workers are male and ladies had been left to fend off “constant sexual harassment” by their colleagues and superiors, in accordance to that lawsuit, which is separate from the one settled Monday.

The revelations detailed within the lawsuit sparked worker backlash, together with a walkout and public letter. The company ousted two executives, certainly one of whom was named within the lawsuit, over the matter.

Even because the company has settled the federal lawsuit, it’s nonetheless grappling with the state swimsuit and complaints from the Securities and Exchange Commission.