As websites like IGN were reporting on a new lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, the company unveiled a press release going into detail about their latest legal troubles. It was initially reported that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was suing Activision Blizzard for allegations of harassment towards female employees and for gender discrimination. The EEOC lawsuit was the result of a years-long investigation of the company. The lawsuit demanded the company compensate affected employees with back part and damages, as well as implicate institutions that will carry out policies that ensure equal employment opportunities.
However, not long after reports of the lawsuit were making rounds on the internet, the press release revealed that Activision Blizzard has reached an agreement with the EEOC. As part of the $18 million funds, Activision Blizzard will compensate employees affected by discrimination and harassment. Any amount that is left over will then be “divided between contributions to non-profit organizations whose mission involves advancing women in the video game and tech sectors or who promote awareness around sexual harassment and gender equality.”
The company also promises to update its “policies, practices, and training to prevent and eliminate harassment and discrimination in the workplace.” The company also claims it will be implementing an expanded performance review system with a focus on creating equal opportunities within the company. The company will work with an EOCC-approved third-party equal employment opportunity consultant. The consultant with report any findings directly to the EEOC and Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors.
The company will also hire an “internal EEO Coordinator with relevant experience in gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation” to aid the equal employment opportunity consultant and the company. This is done to help implement the requirements within the agreement.
Activision Blizzard’s issues with the EEO is the latest of the string of controversy hitting the company since July. Back in July, the company faced a lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (CDFEH). The CDFEH accused the company of its “frat boy” mentality which caused gender discrimination and sexual harassment against women working for the company. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) then hit the company with a subpoena to investigate the company’s handling of sexual allegations and discrimination in the workplace. CEO Bobby Kotick was among those who were subpoena with the company.