Last September Activision Blizzard reached a settlement on a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The corporation agreed to Create a special fund of approximately $18 million to compensate all victims of sexism and inappropriate behavior within the company. Now we learned the court's decision in this case.
Washington Post reported that the aforementioned settlement has been finalized and approved by a judge - the $18 million in compensation will be distributed to affected employees who apply for it.
- However, it is worth mentioning that those who take advantage of this opportunity, will not be able to participate in another lawsuit, filed in July 2021 by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Activision Blizzard has recently been - or in some cases, still is - involved in several court battles, including
- Activision Blizzard Sued Again; Harassment and Psychological Violence
- Activision Blizzard Targeted by SEC; Kotick to Testify
- Activision Blizzard Accused of Destroying Incriminating Documents
A drop in the ocean of money
The $18 million payment will not be a huge blow to Activision Blizzard. In 2021 the company earned a remarkable $8.8 billion in revenue and its CEO - Bobby Kotick - enriched himself by $154 million in 2020 alone.
The American trade union CWA (Communications Workers of America) - which also sued Activision Blizzard - fears that the amount of compensation is not sufficient taking into account the number of affected employees, which runs into hundreds.
- In addition to paying reparations, the corporation must also implement harassment and discrimination prevention programs, which would be audited by the committee mentioned at the beginning.
- If there is any unused amount left of the approximately $18 million allocated after compensation is paid to all affected employees, the company's board of directors will donate it to charity.
It is worth noting that in the case of a discrimination lawsuit at Riot Games (League of Legends, Valorant) the company agreed to to pay $100 million to the victims (approximately $419.5 million) last December.
Comment by Activision Blizzard spokeswoman
Elena Baca, Activision Blizzard's legal counsel on the EEOC lawsuit, made this comment regarding the finalization of the settlement:
"I think this is a rather favorable resolution for the people who brought the claims. The idea of waiting for different lawsuits - who knows what will happen to them?
People can always make claims, they will never stop. They can bring a case to arbitration, they can bring a lawsuit - they can bring whatever they see fit.... And this [finalization of the settlement - editor's note] actually gives the affected employees a closure [to the case - editor's note] that at this point cannot be found anywhere else [in any other lawsuit that has been initiated]."
- Activision Blizzard - official website