Activision Blizzard Settles California Gender Discrimination Lawsuit for $54 Million

Activision Blizzard Settles California Gender Discrimination Lawsuit for $54 Million

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Significance of the Settlement

This marks the California Civil Rights Department’s second-largest settlement agreement, following extensive negotiations during which Activision Blizzard has introduced measures to foster inclusivity and hired a chief diversity officer.

Overview of the Activision Blizzard Settlement

Activision Blizzard and the California Civil Rights Department have reached a tentative $54 million settlement over gender and pay inequality allegations, contingent on court approval.

Details of the Legal Agreement

As part of the settlement, Activision Blizzard is expected to refine pay and promotion practices, and provide financial compensation to eligible female employees and contractors.

The Prolonged Investigation and Legal Action

The Santa Monica-based company was investigated for over two years, leading to a 2021 lawsuit under the California Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act. Additionally, Activision Blizzard has previously settled with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Activision Blizzard’s Stance on the Allegations

While Activision Blizzard has not issued recent comments, the company previously refuted the charges, citing a board investigation that found them to be unsubstantiated.

Activision Blizzard’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Activision Blizzard has made strides in promoting inclusion, such as appointing its first chief diversity officer and participating in initiatives to support under-represented women in tech.

Financial Implications of the Settlement

The proposed agreement allocates a specific amount for direct relief to employees and coverage of litigation expenses, with the majority going into a settlement fund for compensating workers.

Further Steps for Activision Blizzard

In addition to financial compensation, the settlement mandates that an independent consultant be hired to review and suggest improvements to Activision Blizzard’s compensation, promotion, and training practices.

Historical Context of the Settlement

If sanctioned, this agreement will be recalibrated as the CRD’s second-largest, trailing only behind the $100 million settlement with Riot Games for gender discrimination.

Expected Outcomes and Reactions

Despite the substantial settlement with Activision Blizzard, the CRD had initially sought a higher compensation figure, reflecting the significant extent of the company’s alleged liabilities
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