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$18 million EEOC Settlement Against Activision Blizzard Approved by the Court

2022-04-04

Settles claims of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California approved a three-year consent decree entered between Activision Blizzard, Inc. and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve allegations that females were subjected to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation.  Activision Blizzard will pay $18 million in monetary relief and significant injunctive relief.

The ruling covers all U.S. locations of Activision Blizzard, Inc., a video game development and publishing company, and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc, Activision Publishing, Inc. and King.com, Inc. and the entities’ subsidiaries.

In addition to monetary relief, the companies have agreed to the following injunctive relief:

  • A neutral, third-party equal employment opportunity (EEO) consultant, overseen by the EEOC, who will review the companies’ policies and procedures for handling complaints. Company policies will also apply to interns and temps, the online gaming environment, and additional policies such as an alcohol policy and workplace relationship policies will be implemented. The consultant may also conduct climate surveys.
  • Conduct audits on pending and current complaints to determine the effectiveness of the handling of the complaints.
  • Submit to unannounced audits of current employees to assess whether sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and related retaliation issues are properly being addressed. Semi-annual reports will be provided to the EEOC for review for the duration of the decree.
  • Provide anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training that includes bystander intervention and civility to all human resources personnel. The consultant will review the content and effectiveness of all trainings.
  • Evaluate their disciplinary framework and protocols to ensure that the actions taken by the companies lead to effective corrective and preventative measures.
  • Implement a performance review system for managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel that includes an EEO component.
  • Expand mental health counseling services available to its employees who have experienced sexual harassment at any time.
  • Establish a centralized tracking system for complaints of discrimination and harassment.
  • Institute a toll-free hotline for employees and staffing agency workers to report complaints, even anonymously, that shall be monitored 24/7.
  • Create an internal EEO coordinator position to work with the EEO consultant to ensure compliance with the decree.
  • Develop comprehensive record keeping and reporting mechanisms.

All potentially harmful information on victims will be removed from their personnel files to ensure a clean record.  Individuals who were employed from September 1, 2016 to the present and experienced sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, or related retaliation can make a claim. 

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.