Activision Blizzard has settled a deal with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over its ongoing gender discrimination case. This is only a single part of a larger deal which Activision has agreed to in order to avoid “expense, distraction, and possible litigation,” as written in a statement from Activision Blizzard.
Although they have agreed to a settlement, Activision still continues to deny their involvement or lack of action as it pertains to alleged gender discrimination in the company. In their own words: “Defendants expressly deny that they subjected any individual or group of individuals to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation.” Despite this, they are still opening a fund worth $18M to “compensate and make amends to eligible claimants.” Unused funds will then go to charities promoting women in the video game industry.
As Gamespot reports, Activision will also be responsible for updating its policies and training to prevent further discrimination in the workplace. This all will be overseen by a neutral third party pre-approved by the EEOC. This third party will report any and all findings to both Activision’s Board of Directors and the aforementioned EEOC on a regular basis. Activision also claims they will be hiring a professional in “gender discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation” to help them continue to improve their work environment. The deal will last for three years.
Activision is looking to resolve these issues quickly, but are still stuck in a legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for similar charges: The company is being investigated for alleged gender-pay issues and alleged sexual harassment. Along with this, the SEC has requested that Activision release board meeting notes since 2019, multiple personnel files, and the notes of CEO Bobby Kotick. Kotick has said that Activision is “deeply committed to making [itself] one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere” in a statement issued by the gaming giant last week.
Both of these cases are still ongoing, as the first deal still has yet to be approved by a judge.