Activision Blizzard settles federal sexual harassment case for $18 million

Activision Blizzard booth is seen during the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles
Associated Press/Jae C. Hong

Activision Blizzard reportedly settled its federal sexual harassment case for $18 million on Tuesday, but the gaming company is still facing a number of lawsuits, including from a California regulatory agency. 

The settlement in the case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was approved by U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer. It will create a fund for employees who experienced sexual harassment and discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation, according to reports. 

Those who choose to be part of the EEOC settlement will waive their rights to be part of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s (CDFEH) lawsuit against the company on issues of harassment, retaliation or pregnancy discrimination, The Washington Post reported. 

For other claims, such as pay inequity, which is not covered in the EEOC settlement, employees who opt into that settlement can still continue with the California suit, according to the Post.

Employees who worked at Activision, known for games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” between Sept. 1, 2016, and the present day can submit a claim about sexual harassment, retaliation or pregnancy discrimination.

Fischer rejected the CDFEH’s attempt to intervene in the consent decree in the fall, and the agency is appealing that decision. The agency’s lawyer Jahan Sagafi raised objections again during Tuesday’s Zoom hearing, but the argument was again rejected by the judge, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

A spokesperson for the California agency told the Los Angeles Times in a statement that it “will continue to vigorously prosecute its action against Activision in California state court” and added that the state court set a trial date for February 2023. 

The Hill reached out to the agency for comment. 

The CDFEH sued the company in July, alleging it fostered a “frat boy” workplace culture that subjected women at the company to sexual harassment and lower pay than their male peers. 

The company rejected the allegations. 

Tags Activision Blizzard California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Sexual harassment

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