Activision sued by another federal agency and quickly settles for $18million

Activision Blizzard has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission yesterday (September 27). However, the company has already agreed to settle the lawsuit for $18million (£13.1million).

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against Activision yesterday, alleging that the company has “subjected a class of individuals to sexual harassment, to pregnancy discrimination”, including “sexual harassment that was severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment”.

Last night (September 28), Activision Blizzard posted a press release announcing that it had settled the EEOC claim for $18million, which will be used “to compensate and make amends to eligible claimants”. Any of the money left over after being issued to claimants will be given to charities “that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues”.

Bobby Kotick, CEO at Activision Blizzard, said, “We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfil our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace”. Kotick added that he was “sorry that anyone had to experience inappropriate conduct” at Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick
Credit Getty Images/
Drew Angerer

The press release also mentions changes to policies and practices “to further prevent and eliminate further harassment and discrimination in its workplaces”, as well as more oversight for the company’s training process.

This is far from the first lawsuit to reach Activision Blizzard in recent months. After being sued by the state of California in July, the company has also been sued by its own employees for “coercive tactics”, allegedly used to undermine employee efforts to unionise.

Last week (September 21), it was revealed that Activision Blizzard is being investigated by the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission, with subpoenas issued to Bobby Kotick and several other current and former employees.

Shareholders at the company have also labelled Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual harassment allegations as “inadequate”, saying that promises of action in August don’t go “nearly far enough to address the deep and widespread issues with equity and inclusion and human capital management”.

In other news, Final Fantasy 14 servers have gone offline for eight hours of maintenance, which aims to improve how servers handle stress.