Activision Blizzard settles with EEOC, seeks to create $18m fund to 'make amends'
"Eligible claimants" will receive money for amends.
What you need to know
- Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Under the agreement, Activision Blizzard will create an $18 million fund for the purpose of making amends.
- Any amount not claimed by "eligible" employees will used towards various charities for women in the gaming industry.
Activision Blizzard announced a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday, committing to the creation of an $18 million fund for the purpose of amends. Any amounts from the fund not received by "eligible claimants" are stated to go towards charities for women in the gaming industry and to promote awareness around harassment.
Activision Blizzard still faces a lawsuit from the State of California, alleging that the company allowed sexist workplace behavior and abuse to occur without punishment. Activision Blizzard and its CEO Bobby Kotick were recently subpoenaed by the SEC.
"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," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "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."
As part of the agreement with the EEOC, Activision Blizzard is also committing to improving its policies and training around harassment in the workplace. Activision Blizzard also states it will be appointing a third-party equal opportunity consultant that will present its own findings to the EEOC.
Multiple senior developers were let go from Blizzard Entertainment, including the game director on upcoming action role-playing game Diablo 4. Activision Blizzard is accused of not cooperating with the investigation by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, as well as being charged with violating labor laws.
A copy of the ABK workers' collective statement received by Windows Central directly accuses Activision Blizzard of surveillance, coercion and "hiring notorious union busters."
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.