Activision Blizzard Facing Yet Another Lawsuit, From EEOC

Solider from Call of Duty standing in a smoky room holding a gun.

Impression: Activision

Update 09/27/2021 7:45 p.m. ET: Activision Blizzard just put out a press release indicating that it has attained an settlement to settle the just-uncovered U.S. Equivalent Employment Prospect Commission lawsuit. It states in element:

Less than the agreement … Activision Blizzard has dedicated to create an $18 million fund to compensate and make amends to qualified claimants. Any amounts not used for claimants will be divided concerning charities that advance women of all ages in the online video sport field or promote recognition about harassment and gender equality problems as well as firm diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as permitted by the EEOC. The arrangement is matter to courtroom approval.

The release also incorporates a assertion from CEO Bobby Kotick:

There is no position anyplace at our enterprise for discrimination, harassment, or unequal remedy of any form, and I am grateful to the staff members who bravely shared their experiences. I am sorry that anyone experienced to working experience inappropriate conduct, and I keep on being unwavering in my commitment to make Activision Blizzard 1 of the world’s most inclusive, respected, and respectful workplaces.

Kotick, of program, is receiving powerful payment of $154 million in 2021, which means he could very easily cover the $18 million charge of the EEOC lawsuit settlement many situations over.

The initial story follows.


A further federal agency, U.S. Equal Work Prospect Fee (EEOC), is now suing Phone of Obligation and Planet of Warcraft publisher Activision Blizzard.

Recently introduced court docs drop light-weight on the U.S. Equal Work Chance Fee complaint which was referenced last week by CEO Bobby Kotick in a press launch to traders. This new EEOC grievance is concentrated on alleged gender-dependent discrimination and harassment at Activision Blizzard, just one of the world’s biggest video recreation publishers, and follows previous week’s news that the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee (SEC) is now investigating the organization and its CEO.

Final week it grew to become publicly acknowledged that the EEOC was investigatingActivision Blizzard in some ability thanks to Kotick divulging that the firm “continues to productively have interaction with regulators,” including the EEOC, in a press launch for investors. This release was posted in reaction to a distinctive, large-achieving investigation being run by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Fee. The publisher and even Kotick himself have been subpoenaed as a consequence of that ongoing authorized investigation.

The documents unveiled currently ensure that the EEOC is in truth suing the online games publisher and affiliated get-togethers about multiple allegations of gender-primarily based discrimination and harassment. In accordance to the courtroom documents, Activision Blizzard and King Games are directly named in the lawsuit as effectively as 10 presently unnamed people who likely possibly perform or have worked at the two companies. The EEOC notes it may well amend the document to identify these presently unfamiliar folks at a afterwards date.

As noticed by The Verge, the EEOC’s criticism implies that it notified Activision Blizzard of its results on June 15th. But it turns out it began its investigation all the way again in September 2018. What followed were being “extensive conciliation discussions” with Activision. But the EEOC was not equipped to safe any type of “acceptable conciliation agreement” by way of these more “informal solutions,” so now it’s suing and is searching for a jury demo above the allegations uncovered for the duration of its investigation.

Soldiers from Call of Duty standing and posing in a large group shot.

Graphic: Activision

This is just the most current in a collection of authorized problems struggling with the substantial publisher.

Activision Blizzard’s general public lawful difficulty begun back again in July when it was sued by the California Division of Truthful Employment and Housing soon after a years-extended investigation turned up stories of several girls struggling ongoing harassment and abuse while performing at the corporation. This disclosure has led to many execs apologizing or even leaving the embattled publisher. At the same time, Blizzard online games which contain references to the names of alleged abusers are getting scrubbed by devs to get rid of these references from the live video games.

Investors filed a 2nd lawsuit towards the publisher in August, that one particular focused on the timing of when Activision Blizzard disclosed its ongoing problems with sexual harassment and discrimination.

The ongoing fallout from the California lawsuit, and more recent authorized complaints, has led to existing workers walking out, far more stories of place of work abuse getting to be public, players and streamers boycotting video games like Earth of Warcraft, and much more superior-amount staff members stepping away from the company, this sort of as Overwatch 2′s executive producer.

In that push release to investors posted on September 21, in which Kotick 1st described an incoming EEOC complaint, Kotick mentioned that the business “continues to get the job done with regulators on addressing and resolving place of work problems it has obtained.” In the meantime, California has accused the publisher of shredding proof of abuse and of not cooperating with the investigation.

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