Activision Blizzard to Pay $54 Million to Settle California Workplace Discrimination Suit

Activision Blizzard to Pay $54 Million to Settle California Workplace Discrimination Suit

Activision Blizzard’s Settlement with California’s Civil Rights Department

California’s Civil Rights Department has finalized a settlement with the video game company, Activision Blizzard. The agreement was reached following a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination, pay inequities, and pervasive sexual harassment within the company.

Details and Allocation of the Settlement Funds

Activision Blizzard, renowned for top-selling games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, will pay $54 million, with measures in place to support fair pay and equitable promotions. About $46 million will compensate employees, especially women who worked for Activision Blizzard between 2015 and 2020. The settlement is pending court approval.

Agency’s Statement on the Forward Step

Kevin Kish, the Director of California Civil Rights Department, emphasizes that if the court approves, this settlement will significantly benefit Activision Blizzard workers. The agency, previously known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, changed its name in the prior year and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Lawsuit Allegations and Settlement Agreement

Initially filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2021, the lawsuit accused Activision Blizzard of violating California’s Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act. With the settlement, the agency will retire its allegations, clarifying in the agreement that no investigation has confirmed any widespread or systemic sexual harassment within the company.

No Evidence Found of Illegal Behavior by Executives

The settlement narrative further states that the department’s investigation didn’t find evidence of illegal actions by Activision Blizzard’s board members, executives, or CEO, Bobby Kotick.

Activision Blizzard’s SEC Settlement on Workplace Misconduct

In an unrelated legal development, Activision Blizzard also settled with the SEC for $35 million due to inadequacies in monitoring and disclosing employee complaints about workplace misconduct, thereby keeping this information from investors.

Impact of the Lawsuit on Activision Blizzard

The California lawsuit marked a tumultuous period for Activision Blizzard characterized by employee walkouts, leadership controversies, fluctuating stock prices, and heightened scrutiny over a reportedly toxic work environment.

Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard Amidst Controversy

Triggered by these events, Microsoft sought to purchase Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion, which was finalized by regulators in October. CEO Bobby Kotick, entwined in the controversy, is set to leave the company at the year’s end
Read More